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BIO Welcomes New Division Director in IOS


August 15, 2022

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is pleased to welcome Dr. Denise Dearing to BIO as the new Division Director in our Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS). Dr. Dearing joins us from the University of Utah where she is a Distinguished Professor and was previously the Inaugural Director of the School of Biological Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Biology before that.

Dr. Dearing’s research focuses on the ecology and evolution of dietary specialization in mammalian herbivores. In that work, she has trained dozens of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates. She and her lab seek to understand the physiological, microbial and behavioral mechanisms used by herbivores to metabolize or circumvent dietary toxins. Her past NSF funding includes a postdoctoral fellowship; awards from IOS, including a CAREER award and other grants for work in nutritional ecology and disease ecology from multiple BIO divisions.

In her new role, Dr. Dearing will lead IOS in supporting the research community in advancing our understanding of organisms as integrated units, including in how they behave, develop, and interact with a changing environment.

We thank Dr. Michelle Elekonich for her service as Acting Division Director for IOS over the past year and more, and both Dr. Charles Cunningham and Dr. Edda “Floh” Thiels for serving as Acting Deputy Division Director while Dr. Elekonich took on her interim role. All of their work in guiding IOS during this transition is greatly valued and appreciated.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Dearing.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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