All posts by Christina

research grant proposal example

Thompson, R., & Rowland, S. (2007). Research Project Proposal Do microplastic fragments present a hazard to marine life? [Scholarly project]. In Retrieved April 3, 2016, from Project Proposal 2jm.pdf

This research grant proposal is titled, “Do Microplastic Fragments Present a Hazard to Marine Life?”, this is also their research question.  The proposal is written by Richard Thompson and Steve Rowland both have relationships and ties with the University of Plymouth UK.  They would like a call for a project and funding partners in conjunction with KIMO International.  They provided a great background with information regarding the durability of plastics and how they end up in aquatic habitats.  One of their facts was that over 180 species are known to ingest the plastic from the ocean.  They believe that this toxic debris is going to infiltrate the food chain.  The type of data they collected in the past were observational data of acts, behaviors, and reports.  Besides the facts that plastics are in the animal systems, the plastics are also pollutants.  The researchers developed a program to address the issue of the size and pollutants of the plastics in the marine environments.  The results from the experiments will be analyzed in a risk assessment on the quantities and conditions that are portrayed on the marine populations.  They provided a map of the area studied, North East Atlantic water column, three different graphs and one picture of a micro plastic that was found in an animal.  They are searching for a postdoctoral researcher.  They will need them for three years to help with technical support of several analyses and invertebrate experiments.  This will all occur at the University of Plymouth since there are facilities to analyses all of the data they collect.  Funding was then described in detail, however it is in the British pound.  Lastly, they described how the greater public knows about their research because of how many times they have ben published in the common media such as the New York Times of Washington Post.  I thought that they wrote extremely well, but it was only two pages and we are required to have at least ten.  However, their use of graphs and past research was beneficial.  I need to break down the funding of my research grant proposal and add more background.

The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico


Ríos-jara, E., Galván-villa, C. M., Rodríguez-zaragoza, F. A., López-uriarte, E., & Muñoz-fernández, V. T. (2013). The tourism carrying capacity of underwater trails in isabel island national park, mexico. Environmental Management, 52(2), 335-47. doi:

This journal article is titled, “The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico,” and it was worked on by Eduardo Rı´os-Jara, Cristian Moise´s, Galva´n-Villa, Fabia´n Alejandro Rodrı´guez-Zaragoza, Ernesto Lo´pez-Uriarte, and Vicente Teo´filo Mun˜oz-Ferna´ndez.  The problem that they were dealing with was the rapid decline in biodiversity caused by human activities in the marine protected areas of Mexico.  Many SCUBA divers travel to Mexico every year to go see the underwater sights, but they can be harmful to the ecosystems if they are not careful.  Their research question was could ecotourism trails be created and a tourism carrying capacity be figured out in order to protect the biodiversity as well as still allow tourist to dive.  The data that they needed were acts, behaviors, and reports.  They needed to study multiple areas to figure out if an underwater trail could work.  The study area was Isabel Island in the mouth of the Gulf of California.  This location is known for its vast amounts of biodiversity.  They then had to map out underwater trails that would please the tourist, but would also not create a disturbance to the wildlife and habitats.  One of the ways they analyzed their data was by creating a large map.  The map laid out all of the possible diving sites, underwater trails, soft coral, stony coral, opisthobranches, echinoderms, and fishes. To figure out the carrying capacity of the water trails they used a wide variety of mathematical analysis to come up with a possible capacity that benefited the area the most.  They came up with six underwater trails that diving activities did not cause any damage.  This research project took a long time because of all the detail they had to get.  I thought this was interesting because they are working with ecotourism, which is something I would like to do in the future.  In my biodiversity class, we are creating a research proposal grant and we are dealing with ecotourism as well.  This research has showed me that through hard work, biodiversity can be saved and still enjoyed.

Quantifying effects of pollution on biodiversity: a case study of highly diverse mollusks assemblages in the Mediterranean

Terlizzi, A., Scuderi, D., Fraschetti, S., & Anderson, M. J. (2005). Quantifying effects of pollution on biodiversity: A case study of highly diverse molluscan assemblages in the mediterranean. Marine Biology, 148(2), 293-305. doi:

This research example was worked on by A. Terlizzi, D. Scuderi, S. Fraschetti, and M. J. Anderson.  Their research paper was titled, “Quantifying effects of pollution on biodiversity: a case study of highly diverse mollusks assemblages in the Mediterranean.”  They wanted to know the potential effects of sewage discharge on spatial patterns of highly diverse mollusks assemblages in a Mediterranean rocky sub-tidal habitat.  They used an experiment with two control sites.  They needed reports from the mollusks.  All three sites were chosen at random.  Scuba divers went down and took samples by scraping organisms off of rocky surfaces.  The mollusks were sorted and put into solution.  The analysis was mostly ordinal and involved a lot of math.  Univariate asymmetrical analyses of variance were used to calculate all of the variables. They put all of their data into bar graphs to show the number of individuals and the variable that was tested.  Their results concluded that there were a higher number of species at the locations that were further away from the sewage pipes.  There was more variability.  This experiment used scuba divers which is extremely helpful.  However, this experiment used destructive techniques that ruined the sites.  This is not the way that scientists should work.  They were all extremely intelligent, but I do not approve on the harm that they caused.

The relationships of urbanization to surface water quality in four lakes of hanyang, china

Liu, Y., Ke-Ming, M., Jing-Zhu, Z., Bai, X., & Qing-Hai Guo. (2007). The relationships of urbanization to surface water quality in four lakes of hanyang, china. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 14(3), 317-327. Retrieved from

Researchers Yang Liu, Ma Ke-Ming, Zhao Jing-Zhu, Xue Bai, and Qing-Hai Guo all worked on a journal titled, “The relationships of urbanization to surface water quality in four lakes of Hanyang, China.”  They started to study this because of what converting rural land into urban land rapidly does to the environment.  The water quality is heavily polluted because of the change in land use.  There had not been much research on non-point source pollution.  There study area was Hanyang, Hubei Province, China.  This area is filled with rivers and lakes.  They preformed an observational study on the land use and how it correlated with the water quality in the area.  They collected the land use data by using high-resolution quickbird multispectral imagery.  The water quality was measured by Soil and Water Assessment Tool model which divided each lake into several pieces.  The water quality indicators that were selected were pH, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, salinity, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chemical oxygen, and 49 heavy metals.  To analyze their data, they used numerous steps.  They compared the urbanization at all of the lakes.  To determine the land impacts on the lake water quality they used a Pearson’s correlation to reveal any relationships.  They concluded that land uses can be used as sources or sinks to non-point source pollution.  This was the most in-depth research on water quality ever done in China before.  The abundance of urbanization is causing a worse quality of water.  This research journal has made me realize how much work goes into water analysis.  If I was to do my research project, I am not sure if I would have the ability to test all of the elements that they did.  However, I would do the best that I could with what I could analyze.

Global patterns and predictors of marine biodiversity across taxa


Tittensor, D. P., Mora, C., Jetz, W., Lotze, H. K., Ricard, D., Berghe, E. V., & Worm, B. (2010). Global patterns and predictors of marine biodiversity across taxa. Nature, 466(7310), 1098-101. Retrieved from


Researchers Derek P. Tittensor, Camilo Mora, Walter Jetz, Heike K. Lotze, Daniel Ricard, Edward Vanden Berghe, and Boris Worm all worked on the journal titled “Global Patterns and Predictors of Marine Biodiversity Across Taxa.  Their topic and research question was to figure out how marine biodiversity varies on a global scale in patterns and predictors.  They chose to work with marine biodiversity because not much in known about it compared to land biodiversity.  They studied thirteen different taxonomic that ranged from zooplankton marine mammals in order to get a wide variety of information; 11,567 species were observed.  The type of information that they would need was species richness, different regions of the ocean, and major impacts that could affect the biodiversity of certain areas.  This information would be observational and records of acts and behaviors.  The researchers used spatial modeling  and observational patterns.  They got a lot of their data from the Census of Marine Life that was in the Ocean Biogeographic Information System.  There are several figures that display the patterns of species richness according to individual taxa.  The researchers used qualitative and quantitative analysis with their findings.  They modelled relationships between species richness and environmental predictors.  The other figured displayed species richness compared to human impact.  All of these figures were easy to read and understand.  I find their research extremely well thought out.  They had to analysis vast amounts of space and species.  This would be difficult and take a large amount of time.  I want to use the Ocean Biogeographic Information System for my research project as well.

Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

Eriksen M, Lebreton LCM, Carson HS, Thiel M, Moore CJ, Borerro JC, et al. (2014) Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea. PLoS ONE 9(12): e111913. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111913

Marcus Eriksen , Laurent C. M. Lebreton, Henry S. Carson, Martin Thiel, Charles J. Moore, Jose C. Borerro, Francois Galgani, Peter G. Ryan, Julia Reisser are all the researcher that produced the study “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea.”   Their research question was to figure out more information about the plastic pollution in the marine environment because there is a huge lack of data mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.  Their topic of ocean plastic pollution is a not widely researched.  The type of data that they would need is observational data of acts, reports, and behaviors.  They would need to evaluate the area and go on expeditions.  They went on 24 expeditions across all five sub-tropical gyres.  They used surface net tows to get the plastic, as well as visual survey transects of plastic debris.  Various other models were used to collect data.  They used mathematical calculations to estimate the proper amount of plastic that is in the ocean to fix the wind driven mixing correcting too.  Based on their findings, analytical data, and model results they calculated that there are at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles floating in the sea.  The plastic is carried by prevailing winds and surface currents.  I believe that they preformed a massive amount of research for this study.  Traveling to all five gyres is a lot of work.  They performed in-depth analysis of their findings and used different forms of models to get the most accurate results.  I found their research extremely interesting.

Managing marine plastic pollution: Policy initiatives to address wayward waste

Tibbetts, J. H. (2015). Managing marine plastic pollution: Policy initiatives to address wayward waste. Environmental Health Perspectives (Online), 123(4) doi:


John Tibbetts journal article, “Managing marine plastic pollution: Policy initiatives to address wayward waste,” expresses the need to bring about change for cleaner beaches and oceans.  The topic of this article is how marine plastic is a major problem all over the world.  The research question was how are different places around the world dealing with and attempting to fix the high amount of pollutants.  This project was mostly based on observational data with some correlation data.  The first part of the article explains where marine plastic pollution comes from and how it gets into the ocean.  Tibbetts’ data gathering method was through interviews with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and the Ocean Conservancy, as well as collecting data through previous detached observations and public/private records of other countries.  The US is the twentieth country of coastal nations that produce the most plastic waste from land.  The countries with poor waste management with rising populations are the top leaders.  Those countries are China, Philippines, and Indonesia.  There is a correlation with marine debris and population density of the coastlines.  The higher the coastal population, the more marine debris is found off the coasts. However, Tibbetts discovered through public economic records and interviews from various countries and organizations that reducing plastic could cause a huge market failure in the economy. One of the solutions that Tibbetts found helpful was the principle of extended producer responsibility that some European countries use.  This promotes companies to reuse and recycle which will in turn cut down on marine pollution.  To bring all of his data into final analysis, he compared the amount of debris from various countries and compared that to what they are doing to cut back on the pollution.  His final section of his article deals with some of the solutions that could help clean the oceans and keep up the economy.  I believe that he had a large amount of data, and he described it all well.  I never thought that cleaning marine trash correlated with potential market failure.  I think that Tibbetts should have done more research on ‘greener’ companies that are causing less of an impact on the ocean, and how other companies can follow in their footsteps.



Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles


Schuyler, Q. A., Wilcox, C., Townsend, K. A., Wedemeyer-Strombel, K. R., Balazs, G., van Sebille, E. and Hardesty, B. D. (2016), Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles. Glob Change Biol, 22: 567–576. doi:10.1111/gcb.13078,%20Qamar%20A.

            “Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles,” is a scholarly article written by Qamar A. Schuyler, Chris Wilcox, Kathy A. Townsend, Kathryn R. Wedemeyer-Strombel, George Balazs, Erik van Sebille, Britta Denise Hardesty.  This article was first published on September 14, 2015.  The article is about the how plastic marine debris is harming the oceanic environment and the creatures that dwell there.  They wanted to analysis the risk of plastic ingestion of sea turtles on a global scale, and this is what they focused their research on.  The type of data they used was acts, behavior, and events of the plastic currents and turtle migration.  They also had to get reports of acts and events of turtle biopsies with plastic debris inside of them.  The data they got global marine plastic distributions based on ocean drifter data with sea turtle maps.  They then were able to predict the turtles’ exposure to the plastic pollution.  The methods of gathering data that they used were public records, detached observation, and content analysis.  They also provided caveats, data gaps, and risk analysis about their data.  They calculated that there are certain sea turtles that are more susceptible, and the locations that have higher trash accumulation.  They concluded that roughly 52% of sea turtles may have ingested debris.  I believe that their research is valid.  They got their data from numerous credible sources, and they accounted for error in great detail to make sure the data they were collecting was correct.  The amount of plastic that is ingested by marine animals is too large, and it is human caused.  Humans need to become more sustainable.


“Plastic Pollution at a Sea Turtle Conservation Area in NE Brazil: Contrasting Developed and Undeveloped Beaches”

Sul, I. D., Santos, I. R., Friedrich, A. C., Matthiensen, A., & Fillmann, G. (2011). Plastic pollution at a sea turtle conservation area in NE brazil: Contrasting developed and undeveloped beaches. Estuaries and Coasts, 34(4), 814-823. doi:

The journal article that I found is titles, “Plastic Pollution at a Sea Turtle Conservation Area in NE Brazil: Contrasting Developed and Undeveloped Beaches,” by Juliana Assunção Ivar do Sul & Isaac R. Santos & Ana Cláudia Friedrich & Alexandre Matthiensen & Gilberto Fillmann.  This article is about how much beach debris were on developed and undeveloped sea turtle nesting beaches in Brazil.  Their prediction was that the plastic would be a major problem in coastal environments such as Brazil.  Their final and study question / hypothesis was that developed beaches are more contaminated by marine debris in the summer season and the types of items are directly related to local sources, such as tourism, and undeveloped beaches are less contaminated and the types of items are related to non-local sources, such as fishing and domestic activities.  They needed to collect the amount of pollution found on both types of beaches in order to compare them.  First they used region-wide sampling to characterize marine debris distribution patterns in the area.  Their next step was targeted sampling on the beaches.  After all their data was collected, they analyzed with tables and graphs to compare the pollution sources and to figure out which type of beach contained the higher amount of area covered in pollution.  Their final results was that domestic and fishing activities were accounted for 70% of debris on undeveloped beaches, and tourism activities accounted for 70% of debris on developed beaches.  I found this article helpful because I was planning on research numerous beaches and how much trash is on them.  Then figure out how many animals were affected by the pollution.  I wish this journal article went into further detail about how the debris affected the turtles.