Professor earns carbon sequestration research grant

Foundation grant is shared among four universities

Dr. Mark Bush, Florida Tech professor of biological sciences and chair of the department's ecology program, has earned a $177,000 grant over three years through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Gordon Moore is a founder of Intel.

The Moore Foundation grant is part of an $860,000 award shared with Wake Forest University, the universities of Oxford and Edinburgh, and the University of California at Los Angeles. The researchers will investigate the historic carbon balance of Andean vegetation and soils.

Under the first installment of the funding, Bush's lab will use fossil pollen and charcoal evidence from lake sediments to reconstruct past changes in vegetation and determine fire. From these analyses they will evaluate the potential for carbon sequestration in Andean ecosystems. Carbon sequestration is long-term storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere, underground or in oceans, which reduces the buildup of carbon dioxide--principally greenhouse gas--concentration in the atmosphere. The funding supports Dunia Urrego, a Florida Tech post-doctoral fellow leading the research under Bush.

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