Educators Secure Grant to Attend 2016 International Ecology Conference in England

Mar 30, 2016

Credit Dr. Howard Whiteman, via Murray State University

A Murray State University post-doctoral researcher and her collaborators have secured a $20,000 federal grant to allow young ecologists to attend the 30th annual meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology in Exeter, England.  

MSU’s Dr. Alycia Lackey says the money from the National Science Foundation will help about 20 graduate, post-doctoral students and pre-tenure faculty attend the conference.

The effort is in collaboration with Robin Tinghitella at the University of Denver and Michael Martin at Reed College.

In addition to presenting their research to an international audience, participants will also be tasked with created so-called “data nuggets.”

“Each person that gets a travel award is going to adapt their research or something that they’ve seen at the ISBE meeting and turn that into a worksheet called a data nugget.  Which is for K-12 students and teaches them skills in graphing and analysis interpretation and it’s really important for educating the next generation of scientists," said Lackey. 

Lackey says the goal of the grant is to allow students the opportunities for international collaboration on future research, increase the diversity of attendees and emphasize the importance of science education resources.

"When you present your work in that kind of context, you have all these people that you may not have connected with before that share that interest and can help you develop those interests," said Lackey. "But you also get to see all of the great research that’s going on to help you think about new directions to go and people you might want to try talking with and building new projects. It’s just a really great opportunity to get your work out there and see what people are doing in the field and start thinking about what you want to do next.” 

This year’s conference takes place July 28th through August 3rd and features many prominent speakers including Doctors Rosemary Grant and Richard Dawkins.

Information on how to apply for a travel award will be widely advertised soon on the ISBE website.