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Breakthrough Research Award given to Dr. Roland Wilhelm and Team

Three Purdue research initiatives recently received funding awards sponsored by the Research Development unit in the John Martinson Honors College. The award bridges Purdue's mission to deliver high-impact, experiential education with its mission to conduct cutting-edge research.

Applications were reviewed by Purdue-wide experts on their research quality, broader impact, and their strategies for undergraduate students to engage meaningfully in the research. The award is a one-time investment to conduct research, scholarship, or creative inquiry with undergraduate students in the honors college.

Among those awarded was the research team consisting of Dr. Roland Wilhelm, Dr. Laramy Enders and Dr. Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi (College of Agriculture). They will bring a team of faculty and undergraduate researchers to the Indiana Dunes to enhance the growth and climate resilience of native plant species, such as American bittersweet, by better understanding and managing the interactions between plant and microbes (the 'holobiont').

path down to Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes
Dr. Roland Wilhelm at the Indiana Dunes

This research aims to develop nature-based conservation tools that will assist land managers in mitigating the impact of invasive round-leaf bittersweet while simultaneously providing valuable insights into the application of microbiome science to rebalance competition between invasive and native species.

Each of the award winners will work with faculty and staff in the John Martinson Honors College to recruit student researchers and launch their projects this fall, followed by a kick-off celebration in Spring 2024 to begin the yearlong projects.

Learn more about this award and the other recipients:

John Martinson Honors College
Breakthrough Research Award

American Bittersweet Plant

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