Congratulations to Rob Moyle who recently was awarded over $1.3 millon research grant from the National Science Foundation entitled: Discovery and analysis in the cradle of speciation theory: biotic surveys of Melanesia's terrestrial vertebrates. The
project's co-PIs are: Rafe Brown (University of Kansas), Michael Andersen (University of New Mexico), and Christopher Filaardi (Conservation International). The project contains two major components: (1) fieldwork to survey vertebrate communities (birds, frogs, lizards, snakes and mammals) and collect specimen material across the diverse biological communities of the Southwest Pacific; and (2) laboratory-based genetic analysis to study the evolutionary history of these animal groups as well as contemporary interactions among island populations. Field and laboratory work will enable the description of new species, redefine patterns of biodiversity, and provide much-needed comparative material for world-class global collections. Importantly, training and education of university students from the US and host countries is integrated throughout this work: US undergraduate and graduate students will work closely with students from host countries, implementing field research projects under the guidance of team leaders and senior graduate students. In combination with clarifying regional patterns of vertebrate biodiversity, participation of local government, scientists, students, and non-government stakeholders will support efforts to protect these biodiversity hotspots.