News from NIMBioS
January 2021
NIMBioS Transitions

Thanks for the memories, great science, inclusive education, and camaraderie

It has been my great pleasure for most of the past dozen years to serve as the NIMBioS Director. I am very proud of the tremendous science and education that we have been able to foster. NIMBioS core support from NSF ends February 28, 2021 and NIMBioS will then transition to being a Center based in the College of Arts and Sciences here at which point Professor Nina Fefferman will become Director. NIMBioS will continue as research center to continue to foster our long-standing programs in quantitative biology.

As a means to celebrate our successes as well as consider ongoing and future challenges in quantitative biology, we will be holding a virtual NIMBioS Research Reunion on Friday February 19. We encourage you to participate, hear from a distinguished panel of all of our former Advisory Board Chairs as well as a panel of some of our former Postdoctoral Fellows. This will be held in NIMBioS Interactive using the avatar-based Sococo platform that allows participants to move about and meet with others in small groups and individually. Details on how to join this Reunion are given below.

I and all the NIMBioS staff have greatly appreciated your support of NIMBioS over the past 12+ years. I need to say thanks to our amazing staff for their tremendous efforts. They have devoted a large fraction of their careers to providing the core services, often behind the scenes and without acclaim, that allowed us to be so successful. They have had to transition and accept new responsibilities as our situation has changed and have done so as the true professionals that they are. Chris Welsh has been the stalwart backbone for coordination of everything NIMBioS has done, Michael Peek has built and maintained the core IT infrastructure that underpinned our efforts, Eric Carr has been our "jack-of-all-trades" in dealing with an amazing array of computational and organizational challenges, Jane Comiskey has built and maintained our tremendous web services along with stepping in to deal with our databases, Jennifer Spar has been a superb nurturer and logistics coordinator for our thousands of visitors, and Greg Wiggins has guided numerous education and outreach activities with calm grace.

NIMBioS would never have been possible without the amazingly selfless efforts over many, many years by my esteemed colleagues Suzanne Lenhart to lead our education and outreach efforts and Sergey Gavrilets to provide guidance for our scientific activities and lead the development of DySoC. Pam Bishop was our dedicated leader of evaluation and I am delighted that NISER, now part of the University's Office of Research, arose as a major product of NIMBioS.

Louis Gross

NIMBioS Research Reunion

We are delighted to invite all NIMBioS participants and others who are interested to join us in NIMBioS Interactive on Friday, February 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. EST. This Reunion will feature a panel of all of our former Advisory Board Chairs (Alan Hastings, Susan Holmes, Colleen Webb, Raina Robeva, and Jorge Velasco-Hernandez) providing comments about current and future challenges in quantitative biology and a panel of former NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows giving their perspectives. There will be additional comments from Suzanne Lenhart and Sergey Gavrilets, who have guided NIMBioS education and scientific efforts from the start. This will be followed by a large number of breakout rooms to meet individually and in small groups with those from NIMBioS Working Groups, Workshops, and Tutorials, as well as rooms for participants in our postdoctoral, summer research experience, and undergraduate research conference programs.

The Reunion will be held in NIMBioS Interactive using the avatar-based Sococo platform that allows participants to move about and meet with others in small groups and individually. Panels will be held in Zoom webinar which will be linked from NIMBioS Interactive. To register for the Reunion, please sign up at the registration page and further information about the schedule will be posted on the Reunion webpage. Please register by February 12.

Virtual Workshop
Quantitative Education in Life Science Graduate Programs
This Workshop, supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed due to COVID. It was held virtually through NIMBioS Interactive December 1-3, 2020. Read more.

Topic: NIMBioS Discussions with Students on Quantitative Education in the Life Sciences
Meeting dates: January 19 and January 22, 2021, 1 PM EST
Location: NIMBioS Interactive
Objective: With support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, NIMBioS recently hosted a Workshop on Quantitative Education in Life Science Graduate Programs. One suggestion from this Workshop was to foster a discussion with current and recent students (advanced undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs) involved in the life sciences about their quantitative education experiences. The objective is to gather information and opinions regarding the current means by which students are obtaining quantitative training and comments about the benefits of alternative modes of learning. NIMBioS invites recent and current students to assist in the process of providing input on this by joining in on one or more conversations in the Sococo platform in NIMBioS Interactive. These discussions will provide students an opportunity to share suggestions and to learn from the experiences of others about options to enhance their quantitative skills.

Registration is closed, however if you are interested in joining us, please email Greg Wiggins at

Event Highlight
Time Matters: Transients and Dynamics in the Management of Ecosystems - a AAAS special session

NIMBioS participants will lead and give presentations in a session at the AAAS annual meeting that arose from the NIMBioS Long Transients and Ecological Forecasting Working Group.

Monday, February 8, 2021
3:00 PM - 3:45 PM EST

Recent Recorded Events
Video of NIMBioS webinar 
Videos of NIMBioS tutorial

Selected Recent NIMBioS Publications
De Angeli, K., Abbasi, E., Gan, A., Ingram, D., Giam, X., Chang, C.H. 2021. Modeling the impact of wild harvest on plant-disperser mutualisms. Ecological Modelling 439: 109328. [from NIMBioS SRE Program]

Carrasco, L., Papes, M., Lochner, E., Ruiz, B., Williams, A., Wiggins, G. 2020. Potential regional declines in species richness of tomato pollinators in North America under climate change. Ecological Applications doi:10.1002/eap.2259. [from NIMBioS SRE Program] 

Sample, C., Bieri, J.A., Allen, B., Dementieva, Y., Carson, A., Higgins, C., Piatt, S., Qiu, S., Stafford, S., Mattsson, B.J., Semmens, D.J., Diffendorfer, J.E., Thogmartin, W.E. 2020. Quantifying the Contribution of Habitats and Pathways to a Spatially Structured Population Facing Environmental Change. The American Naturalist: 196: 157-168. [from NIMBioS Habitat for Migratory Species Working Group]

Laubmeier, A.N., Cazelles, B., Cuddington, K., Erickson, K.D., Fortin, M., 
Ogle, K., Wikle, C.K., Zhu, K., Zipkin, E.F. 2020. Ecological dynamics: 
Ecology and Evolution. 35: 1090-1099. [from NIMBioS Transients in Biological Systems Investigative Workshop]

Gentry, K.E., Lewis, R.N., Glanz, H., Simões, P.I., Nyári, Á.S., Reichert, M.S. 2020. 
recommendations. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 11: 

Hilker, F.M., Sun, A.T., Allen, L.J.S., Hamelin, F.M. 2020. Separate seasons of 
Journal of Theoretical Biology 489:110158. [from NIMBioS Multiscale Vectored Plant Viruses Working Group]
Reminder to submit products by January 31
Results produced from NIMBioS research activities are important in measuring our success. Please report your publications and other products resulting from NIMBioS activities. Learn how to acknowledge NIMBioS. For the complete list of NIMBioS products, click here.
NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.