Rebecca Drenovsky, Ph.D., professor and chair of John Carroll University’s Department of Biology, will expand insights on plant biodiversity and land conservation as a member of an international research team thanks to a recently awarded European Union (EU) Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE) grant.

The global collaborative network includes researchers from 11 countries and 18 institutions. The team will undertake field research on five continents in the following locations: New Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Iran, Turkey, and Spain.

The prestigious grant supports Dr. Drenovsky’s study of gypsum soils, a naturally occurring mineral that can be found worldwide.

Dr. Drenovsky explains, “Despite their widespread occurrence, gypsum soils are not well-understood—in fact, we are still discovering species new to science in these habitats.”

Understanding the traits that make plants successful on these soils and determining the best management practices for them is critical to the conservation of these fragile ecosystems. The international research team will also examine how these distinctive plant communities respond to climatic changes, such as drought.

For more information, Dr. Drenovsky can be reached at



Posted on February 7, 2018