Biology Professor Kristine Grayson Receives Jeffress Memorial Trust Grant to Support Ongoing Research On Invasive Species

July 10, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Kristine L. Grayson, associate professor of biology, has been awarded $104,500 from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust for her research project, Forecasting the Spread of an Invasive Forest Pest. Jeffress Trust grants support research in chemical, medical, or other scientific fields.

Grayson's project on invasive species spread uses the gypsy moth invasion in Eastern North America for two related objectives — to improve predictive maps and to develop a spread forecasting system.

"The majority of invasive species management is reactive, occurring after an invasive species has already become established,” Grayson said. “The ability to accurately predict where and when an invader will further spread would enable managers to more efficiently allocate resources and take action."

The award will support two undergraduate researchers during the summer, as well as part-time salary for a postdoctoral research associate, supplies, travel expenses.

Grayson, who has taught at UR since 2015, received her bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, with Postdoctoral Fellowship positions at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published widely in professional journals and recently received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation for her research on invasive insects and forest salamanders.

Grayson is one of four UR faculty to receive Jeffress Trust Awards this year.