Biology’s Dr. Cody Kent Receives Funding for Expanded Research

Feb 13, 2024 2:17 PM

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FSU assistant professor of biology, Dr. Cody Kent, has received funding to expand his research on evolutionary biology and ecology. More specifically, his work will focus on the fundamental questions – How do so many species arise, and how do they manage to coexist.

This collaborative project with Dr. Scott Powell of George Washington University will focus on turtle ants, which have evolved unique head shields used to block the entry to their nests so that other ants can not take over.

According to Kent, “We are particularly interested in how different types of competitive interactions between different species of these ants has shaped evolutionary trajectories in the size and shape of this body armor and the consequences of these differences on interactions between species today.”

At Frostburg, this funding will primarily support stipends for two undergraduate students each year to develop independent projects related to the main work during the summer, present their work at national conferences and ultimately publish their findings.

“We are very excited to take advantage of this unique study system to integrate both fundamental and emerging concepts across ecology and evolutionary biology,” said Kent.