Dr. Ariane Peralta receives ECU Five-year Achievement Award for Research

Biology is very proud to share the news that Dr. Peralta’s has been awarded ECU’s Five-year Achievement Award for Research and Creative Activities. Dr. Peralta’s field of expertise is microbial ecology.  Her research attempts to identify and explain variation in the diversity of microorganisms found in nature and evaluate whether this variation is associated with changes in essential ecosystem functions.  She is particularly interested in placing her research in an applied perspective by focusing her efforts on systems of great interest to society; especially agricultural systems and wetlands. During the past five years, Dr. Peralta was either an author or co-author on 15 peer reviewed publications and her and her (24+) collaborators have secured > $4 million in external grant support.  Her work has revealed many important insights into how nature works.  For example, Dr. Peralta and her colleagues found that nutrient enrichment of wetlands enhances the diversity of microorganisms present and accelerates decomposition.  Accelerated decomposition in wetlands is a concern because wetlands are generally locations where carbon from dead material is sequestered rather than being released into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.  Dr. Peralta also used the support of a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant to launch herself as a leader in advancing the integration of her research and teaching at ECU. Dr. Peralta has clearly established herself as both a very influential scientist in her field and one that can readily collaborate with others in very different fields to augment the impact of her research even further.  Her contributions to research during the past five years have been truly impressive. To see a video about Dr. Peralta’s research please visit this site:  https://rede.ecu.edu/2021awards/