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Three researchers of the University of Twente, Bram Nauta, Arjen Hoekstra (SENSE) and Andrew Skidmore (SENSE), will receive an ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. The ERC announced the latest awarded grants today. In total, 222 researchers will receive a financial contribution to their research, with a maximum of €2.5 million per grantee.
It is clear that we should be more careful with our planet. We should responsibly use natural resources land and water, in our production and consumption. We should share resources in a fair way. And: we should get more resilience in dealing with shocks. There is research going on, in all of these separate fields, Arjen Hoekstra says, but often not in connection. He is a Professor of Water Management. In his new research proposal, he wants to integrate all aspects.
This is needed, as all factors influence each other: sometimes there is synergy, sometimes a trade-off is necessary. He is going to do research on ecological sustainability, economic efficiency, social equity and societal resilience in a ‘connected’ and multidisciplinary way. For a start, he is going to map our use of land and water for food and energy, on a world scale and with unprecedented precision. Based on an analysis of the past decades, and in combination with new models, this will lead to alternative scenarios that are not only based on economic conditions, but also take the cultural and political aspects into account. For the first time, Hoekstra will integrate methods from various disciplines, including environmental footprint assessment, life cycle analysis and input-output analysis. An important element is the way different types of societies deal with risk and uncertainty. Arjen: “This broad approach is the only way we can understand what is needed for reaching UN’s Sustainable Development goals.”
In the project named BIOSPACE, a fundamentally different approach to terrestrial biodiversity monitoring will be developed, coupling next generation satellite remote sensing with environmental DNA (eDNA) profiling, complemented where available by legacy human-observed datasets.
“The exciting idea proposed here is that the DNA of species extracted from environmental samples at a very local scale, combined with insights provided through remote sensing, will allow us to understand the abundance and change in biodiversity at regional and eventually global scale”, Andrew says. He is Professor of Spatial Environmental Resource Dynamics. “The project builds on more than two decades of research at ITC in hyperspectral remote sensing, and combines this work with the rapidly emerging field of environmental DNA; merging two extremes in scale in an exciting bid to advance biodiversity modelling.”
Source and more information: https://www.utwente.nl/en/news/!/2019/3/57233/erc-advanced-grant-for-arjen-hoekstra-bram-nauta-and-andrew-skidmore
List of all ERC Advanced Grants 2018: https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/file/erc-2018-adg-results-all-domains.pdf