The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems supports research aimed at improving understanding of organisms as integrated units of biological organization.
As division director, de Couet will oversee the IOS budget, which funds core programs in fundamental organismal science, including neurobiology, behavioral biology, physiology, developmental biology, plant genome science and plant-biotic interactions. The division further supports projects in emerging areas of research, as well as conferences, workshops and scientific networks to define new research directions and priorities.
The division also participates in cross-foundation activities, which include CAREER funding for beginning scientists and the experimental program to stimulate competitive research (EPSCoR), designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation to promote scientific progress nationwide (Hawaiʻi is one of 30 states that receive EPSCoR funding).
“It will be my responsibility to find a balance between protecting core programs and investing in new scientific areas which may lead to breakthrough discoveries affecting the biomedical field, agriculture, or industrial production,” said de Couet. “Perhaps even more importantly, federal grants support young investigators and their students, who depend on funding for professional advancement and tenure. It will be one of my priorities to ensure that students receive the best possible training that will help them contribute to the scientific and technological progress of our country.”
About Heinz Gert de Couet
de Couet received his Dr. rer.nat. (the German equivalent to a PhD) in 1981 from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany and a diploma in biology in 1978. He began his academic career as a research fellow at the Research School of Biological Sciences in Canberra, Australia, followed by a tenured appointment at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
He is currently a professor in the Department of Biology at UH Mānoa. He has previously served at the National Science Foundation as both a visiting scientist in BIO/IOS from 2010–2011 and as an expert in BIO/IOS from 2013–2014.
de Couet is also a former participant in the President’s Emerging Leaders Program, a program that brings together highly motivated faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi to identify and develop future campus and system leaders.