August 11, 2011

NSF-Supported Scientific Exchange Fellow Erin Kurten Expands CTFS-SIGEO Partnerships in China

The National Science Foundation grant to CTFS-SIGEO (DEB-1046113), in addition to supporting the recent workshop and symposium, provides support for a program of scientific exchange between the US and China. Young US-based researchers are spending periods of one to three months in collaborating labs in China to pursue studies on the dimensions of biological diversity in the world’s forests. Dr. Erin Kurten, post-doctoral fellow with CTFS at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, is the first of these fellows and will spend one month in Shenyang, home of the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute for Applied Ecology.

While in Shenyang, Erin is working directly with Dr. Zhanqing Hao (Professor and Head of the Research Center of Forest Ecology and Forestry Eco-Engineering at CAS) and his research group. Erin is helping develop of a set of guidelines for focal tree-based monitoring of tree phenology in CForBio forest plots. Additionally, she is collaborating with group members Dr. Xugao Wang and graduate student Yuqiang Zhao on a project to understand the mechanisms underlying a set of previously described positive and negative tree species associations.

Dr. Erin Kurten of CTFS- SIGEO works with Dr. Xugao Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Erin has been warmly welcomed by Dr. Hao’s group; they have helped her settle into Shenyang and are introducing her to the culinary diversity of Northeastern China. With more intellectual and culinary collaborations to come, Erin’s month in Shenyang promises to be a good one!

August 5, 2011

NSF-US and NSF-China Build Foundation for Bilateral Science Collaboration through support of CTFS-SIGEO and CForBio Science and Training Partnership

A delegation from the US National Science Foundation met with counterparts from NSF-China in Beijing, China, on 27-28 July 2011, at a Biodiversity Symposium organized by CTFS-SIGEO and the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio).

Representatives of both NSF and NSF-C spoke of the importance of their jointly funded program, “Dimensions of Biodiversity”, for building partnerships and strengthening capacity in biodiversity science between the US and China. The joint funding provides five years of support for workshops, scientific exchange visits, and the enhancement of bioinformatics tools for biodiversity research.

The goal of the program is to advance understanding of the multiple dimensions of biodiversity and how those dimensions relate to the resilience of forest communities. The long-term sustainability of forests and the services they provide depend on our ability to predict forest responses to changes in climate and land-use at a global scale.

Dimensions of Biodiversity Symposium, Beijing, China.

The NSF delegation included Penelope Firth, Deputy Director, Division of Environmental Biology; William Chang, Head of the East Asia and Pacific Program and Interim Executive Officer of International Science and Engineering; Emily Ashworth, Director of NSF China Office; and Program Officers James Wang, Sarah Mathews and Alan Tessier.

The NSF-China delegation included Zhenliang Yu, Ecology Division Director; Yinghui Liu, Ecology Program Director; Huai Chen, Director Division of American, Oceanian and Eastern European Programs; and Xiuping Liu, Program Manager, Division of American, Oceanian and Eastern European Programs.