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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.
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.
Although human wellbeing has been a topic of discussion for centuries, assessments of the subject have often focused on narrow demographic groups and missed the bigger picture. With European Research Council (ERC) support, a leading demographer aims to change the way we think about happiness and wellbeing by seeing the future of humanity through the prism of global sustainable development.
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.
Honey bees are an important species for ecology and economy, but their population has shrank worryingly. Prof. Philipp Engel focuses on gut microbiota, a critical factor for bee health, to understand how it evolved and diversified over time. His study addresses timely questions about evolution, ecology, microbiology and could eventually contribute to new strategies for managing bee colonies’ health.
Our soils are inhabited by millions of microorganisms; however, the majority of them lay dormant. In her ERC project, Prof. Dagmar Woebken explores the mechanisms that allow soil microorganisms to go into dormancy and thus survive unfavorable conditions. It is further the goal to reveal the environmental signals that lead to their resuscitation to perform important ecosystems functions.
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.
Originally published in May 2015
Updated in July 2018
With an aging population, Europe sees a rapid increase in the number of people affected by visual disorders requiring surgical intervention. Building on the recent advances in robotic assistance in surgery as well as in precisely targeted drug delivery therapies, Prof. Bradley Nelson has designed innovative microrobotics tools to overcome the particular difficulty of manual-performed eye surgery.