OWU professor shares in $3M NSF grant


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding a four-year $3 million grant to a consortium of scientists, including Ohio Wesleyan University’s Eric J. Gangloff, to support a new Research and Mentoring for Post Baccalaureates (RaMP) Program.

The funding will create the RaMP Program, which will work to train “the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists to collaboratively address species responses to climate change.”

Gangloff, Ph.D., an OWU assistant professor of Biological Sciences, is a collaborator on the new NSF grant with co-primary recipients at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, Michigan State University, Monmouth University in New Jersey, Penn State University, and Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

RaMP will create a postbaccalaureate research and mentoring network under the umbrella of the existing NSF-supported Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaboration Network (SPARCnet). Gangloff is a research collaborator within SPARCnet.

The primary goals of RaMP are to diversify the 21st-century STEM workforce to produce a new generation of scientists with a broad spectrum of ideas and experiences and to determine “how best to mitigate the impacts of large-scale global change, including land-use shifts, species introductions, atmospheric deposition, and climate change.” Ohio Wesleyan will receive $61,141 of the total award.

The new grant will allow Gangloff to expand his current research at Ohio Wesleyan, for which he earned a three-year $476,342 National Science Foundation grant in 2022. That project, “Success in the Anthropocene: Evolutionary Ecology of the Common Wall Lizard in Ohio,” seeks to identify “how this lizard has flourished in urban environments on a new continent after just 10 of the reptiles were released in Cincinnati in the 1950s,” he said.

“This information can then be used to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive species or to understand how organisms we want to protect may respond to changes in their environment,” Gangloff explained in announcing the work. “The infrastructure and systems established here will form the foundation of a long-term, sustainable research program for Ohio Wesleyan undergraduate students that will be a model for other institutions, with a specific focus on increased participation and success in STEM fields for underrepresented minorities.”

Learn more about Gangloff and his research, and more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Biological Sciences, at www.owu.edu/biologicalsciences.

Submitted by Ohio Wesleyan University.

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