Plant Virus Biodiversity and Ecology

(Funded NSF-EPSCoR Program)

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The External Advisory Board met with project participants on May 19, 2006 in Norman OK.

A one-day NSF Grant Writing Workshop ( was held in the Thurman J. White Forum Building on the campus of OU on 17 May 2006. Dr. James Wicksted, Associate State EPSCoR Director discussed "Grant Proposal Writing: A Collaborative Effort". Four NSF officials discussed various aspects of NSF grantsmanship. Geoffrey Prentice, Interim Division Director, Division of Chemical and Transport Systems represented the Engineering directorate and Gary A. Thompson, Program Director, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology, did the same for the Biology directorate. Education and Human Resources grants were covered by Duncan McBride, Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education. Jeremy A. Leffler, Outreach Specialist, in the Policy Office explained the transition from FastLane to

The Annual Conference of the theme areas of Oklahoma's current NSF-EPSCoR RII Award occurred in May 2006. Speakers and posters on the theme of Virus Biodiversity and Ecology were featured and mingle with scientists representing the nanotechnology theme area. Immediately preceding the conference was an Oklahoma EPSCoR sponsored grants workshop on competing for NSF grant funds. For further information, contact the Oklahoma EPSCoR office.

To publicize research at and related to The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, a Research Symposium featuring research conducted using the Preserve was held on March 9, 2006. The Tallgrass Prairie Experimental Research Station was the venue. Interested scientists from all locations and disciplines attended. Dr. Paul Risser, Chancellor for Higher Education of the State of Oklahoma, gave the keynote address.

The External Advisory Board met with project participants Dec. 12, 2005 in Norman OK.

Melcher represented the project at the 3rd annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference. Participants discussed "The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Treament and Control of Infectious Diseases" in Irvine CA November 10-13, 2005. A poster on the plant virus biodiversity and ecology project was presented.

The poster also appeared at the Ecological Genomics Symposium held by the Kansas EPSCoR program on 4-6 November, 2005 in Kansas City. Melcher represented the group. Another copy of the poster was on display that same weekend at a DFG-NSF Workshop. Palmer represented the group at this event.

The plant virus biodiversity and ecology project was explained to the Oklahoma State EPSCoR Committee on October 14, 2005. Melcher made a short slide presentation. Slides are available for web viewing.

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation held several events in September and October 2005 surrounding its 60th year of existence. A Symposium on Frontiers in Plant Science and Agriculture was held in Ardmore on 13 October, 2005. September's event was a workshop with NSF program officers dealing with plant-related grant programs. It was held on the 14th in Ardmore.

The summer of 2005 saw many project participants attend national and international meetings. The American Scoiety for Virology meeting at State College PA was attended by Roossinck, Nelson, Scheets and Melcher 18-22 June, 2005. The American Society of Microbiology's General meeting in Atlanta was attended by Melcher 5-9 June, 2005. He also attended the International Congress of Virology in San Francisco CA, 23-28 July 2005, during which congress a meeting of the International Committee for the Taxonomy of Viruses was also held. Wren attended the International Society for Mathematical Biology meeting in Detroit, Michigan June 25-29th, 2005.

Dr. Michael Anderson of Cornell University presented an ecology seminar in the Botany Department on 20 May 2005. The seminar was titled "Determinants of plant species diversity across spatial scales in the Serengeti ecosystem". Dr. Anderson discussed work that he did for his PhD thesis on ecological relationships of plant species in the Serengetti Plains of Africa. He used observational, modeling and experimental approaches to identify and compare the important factors acting at different scale levels, from one to a thousand square meters. His visit was sponsored by the Plant Virus Biodiversity and Ecology Project. Dr. Anderson is a candidate for a postdoctoral position in the project.

Oklahaoma. NSF-EPSCoR Annual Conference was held on the campus of Oklahoma State University on 19 May 2005. The Plant Virus Biodiversity and Ecology theme area was represented along with Nanotechnology and Functional Genomics, the biological theme area of the soon-to-conclude round of EPSCoR funding. The keynote speaker from the biological side was physicist Dr. Skip Garner of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who described a number of his technological contributions to genomics and functional genomics. Additional speakers included

Drs. Wren, Scheets and Roossinck are participants in the Plant Virus Biodiversity and Ecology project. A well attended poster session was held after lunch. It included posters by project participants Michael Palmer, Kay Scheets, and Ulrich Melcher.

A one-day NSF Grant Writing Workshop was held at the Center for International Trade and Development on the campus of OSU on 18 May 2005. After a welcome by Dr. Stephen McKeever, VP for Research and Technology Transfer, Dr. Frank Waxman, State EPSCoR Director gave a clear description of how writing a grant application should be approached. A preferred order of events in the long and grueling process was described. Thereafter, Dr. Susan Lolle, an NSF rotator program officer, explained the review process in the Biology Division. Furhter NSF program officers Dr. Ty Mitchell, Jody Chase, and Linda Blevins explained the programs available through their dividisions. In the afternoon, smaller sessions were held in which each program officer was in a break-out room to discuss their Divisions further. Attendance was substantial.

Contact U. Melcher

Page posted June 14, 2004
Last updated January 19, 2006