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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.

21-04-2020 | © Pirjo Koski 3 mins read

The night sky from your window

Cancelled flights, and less commercial and industrial activity during lockdown are reducing air and light pollution around the world, leading to spectacular views of the night sky. To mark this year’s International Dark Sky Week, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Minna Palmroth who, together with a group of Finnish amateur stargazers, has discovered a new kind of northern lights.

07-04-2020 | © Lunds university 4 mins read

A repairable brain: cell reprogramming to halt neurodegenerative disease

What if damaged brain cells could be replaced? ERC grantee Malin Parmar has developed innovative genetic reprogramming techniques that can produce new brain cells from other types of cells in the body, opening up new therapeutic pathways to combat disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

14-02-2020 | @Juan José Gaitán, INTA (Argentina) - Dryland ecosystem in the Argentinean Patagonia 4 mins read

Climate change could lead to dramatic shifts in dryland ecosystems

A study published in Science by ERC grantee Dr Fernando T. Maestre shows how increases in aridity such as those forecasted under climate change lead to abrupt shifts in dryland ecosystems worldwide, limiting their capacity to sustain life and provide essential ecosystem services to more than 2 billion people.

22-01-2020 | © IStock 6 mins read

Antibiotic resistance: How did we get here?

Finding ways to enlist the bacteria living in our bodies to defend against infections while better understanding their role in promoting antibiotic resistance are key to fighting this growing problem, says Dr Nassos Typas, a microbiologist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.

28-11-2019 | © Dmytro Varavin, istockphoto 4 mins read

Painting a global picture of sustainable human wellbeing

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.

27-11-2019 | © I Wei Huang, Shutterstock 4 mins read

Myth or reality? Lifting the veil on the neighbourhood effect

There is a common belief that concentrating poor people in the same area and isolating them from wealthier neighbourhoods actually aggravates their situation. To investigate this assumption, the DEPRIVEDHOODS project used new approaches.

27-11-2019 | © Bannafarsai_Stock, Shutterstock 3 mins read

Benefit-sharing as a tool for equitable change

The BENELEX project conducted the first systematic evaluation of how international law can support the use of benefit-sharing as a tool for equitable change.

20-11-2019 | © Jason Reifler 6 mins read

Why are people’s misperceptions so hard to shake?

The most powerful source of misperceptions about important issues such as immigration and climate change are false beliefs rooted in people’s political or social preferences, but having people who question authority is also important for a society, according to ERC grantee Jason Reifler, from the University of Exeter, UK.

08-11-2019 | A Magurran 3 mins read

Database opens door to understanding biodiversity change

A European biologist has pioneered a new way of looking at biodiversity change, with the help of the European Research Council (ERC). A key result of this work has been the launch of an open-access biodiversity database, which will help researchers and conservation managers find sustainable solutions to protect wildlife.