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10-11-2020 | @ GettyImages 5 mins read

What makes us Europeans?

What holds Europe together? In the face of economic instability, shifting political trends and a global pandemic, this question comes to mind more and more often. ERC grantee Anelia Kassabova is part of a team of four researchers who, in 2019, won a Synergy Grant to investigate this issue and find what really ‘unites us in diversity’.

26-10-2020 | © istockphotos.com 5 mins read

Will climate change strengthen tsunami-like floods in Europe?

By the end of the 21st century, sea levels are estimated to rise between 40 and 60 centimetres worldwide. Coping with this will be a major challenge for many European coastal communities. ERC grantee Jadranka Šepić at the University of Split in Croatia is investigating how climate change will affect the strength and frequency of tsunami-like flooding events along European coastlines. Her research could help coastal communities prepare better for future challenges.

15-09-2020 | © Heïdi Marier 5 mins read

The dancing particles

ERC grantee Konstantinos Nikolopoulos at the University of Birmingham recently won the first ERC Public Engagement with Research Award in the category of public outreach. His ExclusiveHiggs project looks at the origin of mass by exploring the interactions of the elementary matter particles with the Higgs boson. In this interview, he describes his efforts to make the public understand this field of physics through art and dance.

11-09-2020 | © Getty Images | Yesim Sahin 4 mins read

Supporting emotional wellbeing of mums boosts health of newborns

The tails of our DNA – telomeres – are the focus of many aging studies, as their length affects our health and longevity. A new study by ERC grantee Sonja Entringer shows that supporting the psychological wellbeing of mothers during pregnancy could have a positive effect on our telomeres at birth, boosting our long-term health. We spoke with her on the occasion of the publication of a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry based on a collaboration between her team at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and partners in Finland and the USA.  

10-09-2020 | © Getty Images | Yesim Sahin 6 mins read

The online world of food sharing

How can researchers successfully engage with citizens to improve their scientific outputs? To find out, we talked to ERC grantee, Anna Davies of Trinity College Dublin, the winner of the first ERC Public Engagement Award in the online and social media category. Her project set out to map urban food-sharing practices and discovered early on that they would need the help of citizen scientists. 

01-09-2020 | @ Aike Vonk 5 mins read

Busting the myths about ocean plastic

There is much more to marine plastic pollution than meets the eye. In his quest to set the record straight about this litter, Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at Utrecht University, is garnering international interest from the public, media, schoolchildren and policymakers alike. His passion for public outreach has led him to become one of the first laureates of the ERC Public Engagement with Research Award. We interviewed him to find out more about his winning media relations strategy and the benefits public engagement has brought to his research. 

23-07-2020 | ©J. Stougaard 2 mins read

Understanding the role of bacteria in leguminous plants

Beans, peas, lentils and other legumes are key elements in a balanced diet as they are a source of high-quality proteins. ERC grantee Jens Stougaard leads one of the most prominent research groups in legume science whose results may have long-term implications for sustainable agriculture and food security.

18-06-2020 | @ ICFO/ICREA 5 mins read

The jazz of physics

Three-time ERC grantee and four-time panel member in the ERC evaluations (the last three as panel chair), Maciej Lewenstein is not only one of the key physicists of the 21st century, but also a jazz expert. In this interview, he talks about his passion for free-improvised music and explains the intrinsic connections between quantum physics and jazz.

05-06-2020 | © Tali Mass 4 mins read

New hope for coral reefs

Corals are one of the most beautiful and fascinating ecosystems in the world. However, due to rising sea temperatures, pollution and ocean acidification, they are also one of the most threatened. Pioneering work of ERC grantee Tali Mass shows that corals might be less vulnerable to some of these changes in their environment than previously thought, bringing new hope for their conservation.

20-05-2020 | © Stephan Tillo 4 mins read

Blue tits provide climate change clues

The liveliest of our feathered garden visitors, the little acrobatic blue tit, and her close cousin the great tit, can tell us a lot about how birds adapt to climate change, urbanisation and other changes in their environment. To mark this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Anne Charmantier who studies how these songbirds are adapting to their fast-changing habitat and what that could mean for their long-term survival.