News Story

April 1, 2008

Center Seed Grants Spur Innovative Environmental Research

The Center for the Environment awarded its second round of seed grant funding for the 2007-08 academic year. Seed grants are intended to foster research on environmental problems across a range of disciplines; risky projects that might be difficult to fund through federal agencies or private foundations are particularly encouraged. Further information about the seed grant program, as well as details of previously funded projects, is available here.

Colleen Cavanaugh (Professor of Biology, Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, FAS) will test the efficacy of 454 DNA sequencing for microbial diversity analyses, as compared to traditional molecular methods.

Niall Kirkwood (Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology, Graduate School of Design) will construct a scaled digital resin model of the metropolitan center of Mumbai, India for teaching and research in an ongoing studio course at the Design School.

David Pilbeam (Professor of Human Evolution, Dept. of Anthropology, FAS) and colleagues are comparing the ecological history of the last 10 million years in the Indian subcontinent with that observed north of the Himalya-Tibet Plateau in central and northern China.

Tobias Ritter (Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, FAS) will use his research group’s ligand platform for energy research through the conversion of methane to methanol using bimetallic iron catalysis.

Marc Shell (Professor of Comparative Literature; English and American Language and Literature, FAS) will write an environmental history of the Bay of Fundy, focusing on the technical, political, economic, and cultural factors explaining the successes and failures of using tidal energy as a renewable resource.

Anjantha Subramanian (Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Social Studies, FAS) will investigate the displacement of 1,000 environmental refugees at a Superfund site in Oklahoma to understand the repercussions of environmental harm and the consequences of displacement and resettlement.

Joost J. Vlassak (Professor of Materials Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and Colleen Hansel (Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), will collaborate with postdoctoral researcher Mark Koopman to evaluate a novel and promising materials system, titania-coated hollow glass microspheres, for the photocatalytic degradation of antibiotics.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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