Hewson, Ian : Seed Grant, 2014-2015


Ian Hewson (Microbiology)

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Project Title: 
Establishing the Cornell—University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) Marine Research and Education Network through Tropical Marine Virology
Project Abstract: 
This proposal seeks to build a reseach and education network between Cornell and the University of Queensland, one of Australia’s most prestigious marine research institutions, in tropical marine ecology by targeting viruses and their impacts on ecologically important invertebrate taxa. The proposed activity comprises two intergrated and synergistic activities: (A) Establishing a research collaboration for understanding tropical invertebrate virology; and (B) Establishing an international field course in tropical marine ecology for Cornell undergraduates. The Hewson Lab at Cornell University has been restricted to a handful of sampling sites in temperate waters (Santa Catalina Island, CA, and the Salish Sea, WA), subtropical offshore waters of the Sargasso Sea, and the freshwater habitats of the Great Lakes. A key missing aspect to our work thus far is investigating viruses in tropical habitats, which for several reasons may reveal unique relationships between viruses and their hosts. In this proposal, we seek support to work with a zoologist (Ian Tibbetts) at the University of Queensland (UQ) to perform viral surveillance (i.e. inventory viruses infecting hosts) at two field stations in tropical Australia.