The San Francisco-based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has announced a $3.8 million grant to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to enable professor David Karl to continue and expand his research on ocean microbes.
The founder of the Center for Microbial Oceanography at the university's School of Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Karl previously received a $3.15 million grant from the foundation through Moore's ten-year, $145 million Marine Microbiology initiative, which is designed to accelerate the creation of new knowledge regarding the composition, function, and ecological role of microbial communities in the oceans. During his career, Karl has promoted collaboration among the previously separate disciplines of oceanography, microbiology, ecology, and genomics to better understand the sea, including its potential response to environmental variability and climate change.
The latest grant from the foundation will enable Karl to continue his efforts to quantify solar energy capture and transduction and to gain an improved understanding of essential bio-elemental cycles and sequestration of atmospheric carbon. The funding will be used to develop methods and technology to routinely measure marine microbial community structure and function; to use Seaglider technology — small free-swimming vehicles that gather data from the ocean — to survey habitat variability; and to design, construct, and field test a "mesocosm" that can be used to conduct experiments in open ocean habitats.
"Dr. Karl's work in microbial oceanography is internationally recognized and may answer some of the world's most pressing environmental and climate related questions," said UH M�noa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. "I am truly grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their most generous investment."