Department of Biology faculty members, Brook Milligan and Scott Ferrenberg, are part of a network of researchers who recently received funding from NSF as part of a multi-state project entitled: “Insect Cryobiology and Ecophysiology (ICE) Network: integrating genomics, physiology, and modeling”
Temperate insects spend most of their life overwintering, a physiological state that protects them from damaging temperatures regulates the timing of the lifecycle, and affects plant-pollinator interactions. Overwintering has common physiological phenotypes across insects, yet whether this common physiology shares a genetic basis is controversial. This study brings together experts in genomics, transcriptomics, overwintering, cold physiology, and modeling with the long term goal of discovering the factors that regulate insect overwintering and predicting how environmental variation during this critical life stage affects fitness. The network includes collaborators from three EPSCoR jurisdictions (North Dakota, Wyoming, and New Mexico) and two institution types (land-grant university and federal lab). This proposal will build physical and workforce infrastructure at three universities: North Dakota State University (NDSU), University of Wyoming (UW), and New Mexico State University (NMSU).