Dr. Sarah Bagby part of team of researchers who were collectively awarded $12.5 million from the NSF.

Case Western Reserve University is one among 14 universities from around the globe that have collectively been awarded $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new Biology Integration Institute (BII) to study the feedbacks between microbial ecosystems and climate change.

The five-year project, called EMERGE, for “EMergent Ecosystem Response to ChanGE,” aims to pioneer a new “genes-to-ecosystems-to-genes” (G2E2G) framework for understanding the connections between tiny cells and the global climate, to enable scientists to predict how the responses of microbes to a changing climate will themselves change the environment.

Sarah Bagby, a Case Western Reserve assistant professor of biology who studies the physiology and evolution of microbes (bacteria, archaea and viruses), will jointly lead one EMERGE team seeking to understand the metabolic strategies these organisms use to respond to change in the short term.

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