Faculty Member Investigator on NSF Rules of Life Grant

Oct. 8, 2018
School of Environment and Natural Resources faculty member Lauren Pintor (shown center)  is an investigator on a new NSF Rules of Life grant.

Faculty Member Investigator on NSF Rules of Life Grant

Does intraspecific variation in behavior affect ecosystem functions?

Lauren Pintor, assistant professor of aquatic sciences in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University is a collaborator and investigator on research recently funded in one of the National Science Foundation’s Big Ideas investment areas - Rules of Life.

Collaborating on the project are scientists from the University of Florida Lindsey Reisinger (Principal Investigator) and Alexander Reisinger (Co-Principal Investigator). 

The project will build off previous research the team has conducted on intraspecific variation in behavioral traits among two crayfish species, Faxonius rusticus and F. virillis (both abundant and broadly distributed invasive species).

Studying two species of freshwater crayfish, the scientists seek to advance the scientific understanding of the role of local and regional environmental variables driving trait divergence across populations and test the role of intraspecific variation in behavior traits on stream ecosystem functions.

“Our previous work has shown that crayfish have personality and that personality can vary between individuals and across populations of a single species. Human activities are rapidly altering these personality or behavioral traits,” Pintor said.

Project to fill critical gaps and may motivate new directions

“What’s exciting to me is that our project will fill critical gaps that currently constrain our ability to predict the ecosystem-level consequences of human-induced trait change,” she said.

 “If we find that intraspecific trait variation is important for ecosystem functions, it may motivate new research agendas to further develop ecological frameworks that incorporate trait variation below the species level.”

Source: Lauren Pintor