‘Grand Challenges’ of Biodiversity of Ciliates. What are ‘Grand Challenges’. ‘Grand challenges’ are a time-honored way for scientists to organize, focus, and direct large-scale research efforts.
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‘Grand Challenges’ of Biodiversity of Ciliates
What are ‘Grand Challenges’
‘Grand challenges’ are a time-honored way for scientists to organize, focus, and direct large-scale research efforts.
Since the beginning of modern science, Grand Challenges have been the most effective drivers of research.
Scientific societies and other research-oriented groups have become fragmented or unfocused in the past several decades.
Grand Challenges are inherently integrative in approach because they address large-scale problems.
Grand Challenges can be used to promote investigation of large-scale questions, such as global climate change, that require an integrative approach.
Grand Challenges are a way for groups of researchers (e.g., entire disciplines, scientific societies) that aspire to be integrative in nature to energize themselves and rediscover integrative approaches to scientific questions.
Identifying and using Grand Challenges can maximize the effectiveness of research efforts and build more productive interactions with funding agencies.
Grand Challenges help funding agencies identify and support creative, integrative proposals for research on large-scale problems.
The GCOB are large-scale scientific challenges that emphasize organismal biology and interdisciplinary cooperation and creativity.
A list of GCOB was developed in 2009 by the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) and, since then, has generated new research initiatives and increased interest and cooperation from NSF.
Information about GCOB and links to key papers are available on the SICB website at http://grandchallengesinbio.org/.
Defining the Grand Challenges of Biodiversity of Ciliates (GCBC)
GCBC 1 Discover linkages between specific genes, physiological mechanisms, and environmental challenges
GCBC 2 Understand how physiological and organellar systems of ciliates respond to rapidly fluctuating environmental conditions
GCBC 3Understand molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying perception of environmental change by ciliates and how these result in responses that effect dispersal and maintain populations
GCBC 4Understand the role of ciliates in biogeochemical cycles as a major step toward understanding function of the microbial component as a whole
GCBC 5 Identify the effects of global climatic change on ciliates and link these with alterations in the character and functioning of ecosystems
GCBC 6 Understand speciation in ciliates by investigating evolutionary rates and changes in morphology, development, life-cycle strategies and genetics underlying divergence of specific lineages
GCBC 7Understand the part played by genomic architecture in the evolution of ciliates
GCBC 8Determine the biogeographical distributions of species of ciliates, test hypotheses of endemicity, and identify mechanisms and rates of dispersal
GCBC 9 Identify patterns of diversity and diversity "hot spots," both geographic and ecological, for ciliates
GCBC 10 Understand the relationships between symbiotic ciliates and their hosts, including investigation of host-specificity, effects of parasites on hosts, coevolution with hosts, and genetics of host-symbiont interactions
GCBC 11 Find practical applications for the functional diversity of ciliates (e.g., biological control, ecosystem management, translational research)
GCBC 12 Develop species of ciliates as new model organisms that can be used for a broad variety of research applications
GCBC 13Assemble the tree of life for ciliates and use it as the basis of on-line resource that can be used for species identification and will include information about ecology, seasonality, geographic distribution, and intraspecific variation
GCBC 14 Develop a plan to train more ciliate systematists, particularly in regions of the world where they are scarce, in both morphological and molecular methods used to obtain data from taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses
GCBC 15 Develop and implement a significant new paradigm for capturing and storing biological information about ciliates that can support integrative research on their biodiversity
GCBC 16Establish a repository (“protist museum”) to store DNA and fixed cells for use in molecular analyses
GCBC 17Establish a uniform protocol for describing or re-describing species of ciliates, including minimal standards that must be met for publication and guidance on morphological characterization, molecular characterization, sampling protocols, analytical methods, culturing, and long term storage of samples
GCBC 18Establish a new standard of accessibility, openness, and adaptability in the creation and management of information resources to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery
GCBC 19Establish a web presence for biodiversity of ciliates, using existing or new sites, that would facilitate communication between researchers, inform the public, link to a diverse set of informational resources, be updated frequently, and include a variety of social networking applications (e.g., facebook, blogs, phone apps)
GCBC 20Raise public awareness of the societal and economic importance of an integrative approach to understanding the roles of ciliates in the environment, diseases of humans and animals, aquaculture, agriculture, drug discovery, and biomedical research
GCBC support the 3 dimensions of biodiversity
“Organisms are the bridge between genomes and ecosystems, and between genetics and evolution. The impacts of environmental changes are reflected in the organism’s structure, function, development, growth, evolution, distribution, and diversity, all being dependent upon its ability, or inability, to adapt and survive.”
Satterlie et al. (2009)