Twelve research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will take multi-pronged approaches to better understanding the generation, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity. The program links functional, genetic, and phylogentic/taxanomic dimensions of biodiversity.

Many of this year’s projects focus on microbes, such as the diversity of microbes in permafrost and the relationships between ants and their gut microflora.

The Dimensions of Biodiversity Program will support $23 million in research this year. The studies are supported by NSF, the São Paulo Research Foundation, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

“This year’s portfolio of projects will accelerate our understanding of biodiversity across disciplines and across scales of time and space,” says Penny Firth, director of NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology. “Through this program, we’re witnessing a transformation in our ability to bridge scientific approaches and perspectives.”