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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.
Une bourse du Conseil européen de la recherche (ERC) a permis au professeur Guust Nolet de retourner en Europe pour développer de petits robots sous-marins qui pourraient aider à comprendre la structure de notre planète. Dix ans plus tard, grâce à un partenariat industriel financé par une subvention supplémentaire, ces robots sont aussi utilisés pour surveiller la santé de nos océans.
An ERC grant motivated Prof. Guust Nolet to move back to Europe to develop small underwater robots that could help us understand our planet’s structure. Ten years later, thanks to an industrial partnership funded by an additional ERC grant, these robots are also employed to monitor the health of our oceans.
Amidst the raspy jabbering of Buzzards on a remote island at the edge of the Aegean Sea, one ambitious ERC grantee, Dr. Vassilis Amiridis, instigated the construction of a climate change superstation with the enthusiastic support of the ERC, the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and the Greek government.
Ανάμεσα στους κρωγμούς των πουλιών σε ένα μικρό, απομακρυσμένο νησί στην πύλη του Αιγαίου πελάγους, ένα φιλόδοξο έργο επιχορηγούμενο από το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο Έρευνας (ΕΣΕ) και με συντονιστή τον Δρ. Βασίλη Αμοιρίδη, έβαλε τις βάσεις για τη δημιουργία ενός παρατηρητηρίου για την κλιματική αλλαγή, με την ενθουσιώδη υποστήριξη του ΕΣΕ, του Εθνικού Αστεροσκοπείου Αθηνών (ΕΑΑ) και της Ελληνικής κυβέρνησης.
Quantifying the carbon storage potential of terrestrial ecosystems will have to take account of the relative contributions of photosynthesis and respiration to the global carbon cycle. The SOLCA project developed an ambitious approach to tackle this challenge.
Microwaves are widely employed in the technologies we use in our daily life - from global navigation systems (like GPS or Galileo), to the satellites used for the weather forecast. They are also important for more ambitious endeavors such as space navigation. The work of Prof. Yanne Chembo has contributed to the next generation of microwaves.
To this day, little is known about sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Only very few cases have actually been witnessed or monitored. But that might be about to change. Wearable electronics could provide just the solution researchers have been looking for.
Alina Badescu is a young researcher, with her head in the sky and her thoughts firmly buried under layers of rock – in some of her native Romania’s most stunning salt mines. Her work focuses on neutrinos, small subatomic particles that can tell us a lot about the phenomena in the universe: the birth of stars, the explosion of supernovas, black holes.
ERC grantee Dr Kazuya Koyama, originally from Japan, tests gravity, specifically whether Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity can be applied beyond our solar system. At present general relativity works in our galaxy but is less convincing at the far borders of our universe which is rapidly expanding and needs weird energy to explain this. Dr Koyama is hoping that observations in deep space will show that the theory can be modified to work on a larger scale so that this strange 'dark energy' is not needed – removing one of cosmology's biggest mysteries.
On the occasion of the signing of a new agreement with the Japanese Science and Technology Agency to encourage top Japanese researchers to temporarily join ERC-funded teams in Europe, the ERC interviewed Dr Kazuya Koyama about his international career and how he believes this helps strengthen scientific partnerships between researchers in Europe and Japan.