DURHAM, N.C. – A trio of Duke University professors have been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation Macrosystems Biology Program to support new research to measure the metabolic “pulse” of streams and rivers across North America.

The five-year project, led by Emily Bernhardt, associate professor of biogeochemistry, Jim Heffernan, assistant professor of ecosystem ecology and ecohydrology, and Brian McGlynn, professor of watershed hydrology and biogeosciences, aims to shed light on how the energetic base of stream food webs varies with stream size, terrestrial biome and disturbance regimes.

Ultimately, the team’s findings will enable scientists to more accurately compare the annual energetic regimes for nearly 500 streams and rivers in the United States, and to develop climate forecasting models for stream ecosystems.

Bernhardt, Heffernan and McGlynn are conducting the research as principal investigators of a large-scale, $4.5 million NSF-funded initiative on stream biomes. They are working with collaborators from Arizona State University, the University of Florida, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Connecticut, the University of Wyoming, the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Center for Integrated Data Analysis. The grant will also support work by seven graduate students and seven postdoctoral research associates.

You can learn more about the new grant (#EF-1442439) and the research it will fund here.

Bernhardt, Heffernan and McGlynn are principal investigators at the Duke River Center, an interdisciplinary research and educational initiative at the Nicholas School of the Environment.