Welcome to the NSF IGERT Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Populations around the world face the threat of new infectious diseases such as avian flu or the spread of ‘old’ ones (e.g., dengue fever). At the same time wildlife and biodiversity of our native ecosystems such as coral reefs also are threatened by disease and the environmental effects of global warming. Overcrowding, overdevelopment and environmental changes have accelerated the spread of diseases by providing new ecological and evolutionary opportunities. To understand and respond to the spread of new and existing infectious diseases requires new cadre of scientists adept at integrating ecological and biomedical sciences encompassing disciplines studying infectious diseases, biotic invasion, ecosystem protection and management, and species and genetic diversity.
The University of Hawaii’s (UH) NSF IGERT: Integrative Training in Ecology, Conservation & Pathogen Biology (ECPB) fellowship program provided this interdisciplinary training by drawing upon the UH’s growing research strengths, the rich research venue of the tropical Asia-Pacific Basin and the UH’s many research partnerships throughout Asia (see Overview).
This graduate fellowship program was designed to educate Ph.D. scientists for a dynamic research career by offering two year fellowships to study at the interface of emerging pathogens, conservation and ecology/evolution (see Training Program).
Central to ECPB’s integrative focus is studying the reciprocal relationship between infectious diseases and ecosystems, and how human induced environmental change affects this dynamic. The ECPB research is organized around two thematic research areas, 1) tropical ecology and emerging infectious diseases and 2) coral diseases and coral reef ecosystems, which encompass 6 integrative and overlapping research clusters that reflect UH’s growing investigative strengths and international partnerships across the region, as well as exemplify transdisciplinary challenges facing science and society in the beginning of the 21st Century (see Research).