Research Communications

Ohio University Research Committee funds five faculty research projects 

Next funding deadline is Jan. 27
Jan. 4, 2011

The Ohio University Research Committee (OURC) awarded $39,000 during its fall cycle of funding to five faculty research, scholarship and creative activity projects. The initiatives range from an examination of depictions of suicide during the British Romanticism era of literature to the study of how tree seedlings in forests endure climate change.

The committee, which has a membership of 13 Ohio University faculty and administrators, received 15 proposals requesting $114,379 in funding for faculty work.

“Per usual, the applications—and especially those projects that were funded by the OURC— reflected the highly diverse and accomplished abilities of the faculty,” said André Gribou, chair of the OURC committee and a professor of music.

The Vice President for Research sponsors the OURC program to provide seed funding to new projects, which, in turn, may help faculty leverage additional external support.

The committee awarded funding to the following five proposals:

Nicole Reynolds, Department of English, “Romanticism and Suicide: The Culture of Voluntary Death in England, 1770-1822,” $7,289. This project will explore how suicide informed public and private life, especially literary culture, in the British Romanticism era. The work will result in a book that will connect these ideas to current attitudes on suicide and individuality. Funding will support travel to Britain to examine archives.

Daniel Johnson, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, “Measurement of Hydraulic Parameters in Tree Seedlings,” $7,800. This project will study tree seedlings in Eastern U.S. forests to understand how climate change impacts their survival. Results will be used for a National Science Foundation grant and disseminated through top-tier journals.

Michele Fiala, School of Music, “A Study of Prominent Contemporary Oboists,” $8,000. Fiala will interview the world’s most renowned oboists and will develop a book for students, teachers and performers that describes the oboists’ approaches and methods.

Kristin Metzler-Wilson, School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, “Pharmacokinetics and the Effectiveness of Transdermal Skin Anesthesia,” $8,000. This project will explore the use of electrical currents and sound waves to expedite the impact of local skin aesthetics, which can take up to an hour to be fully effective. Metzler-Wilson also will study the drugs’ effects on the skin. Results will be published in journals and used to pursue external funding.

Harvey Ballard, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, “New Molecular Tools for Studies of Species Formation in Violets,” $8,000. This project, a new direction for the researcher, will use recently available genetic data to study species creation in “stemless violets.” Results will be shared at a national conference and will be used for a National Science Foundation grant proposal.

The OURC is accepting proposals for its winter cycle of funding through 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27. For more information about guidelines, requirements and forms, please visit or contact Cris Milligan at (740) 593-0370,

By Andrea Gibson