Coastal seagrass ecosystems provide important services to nature and mankind in form of coastal protection, nursery grounds and carbon sequestration. However, seagrass meadows are affected by global climate change and anthropogenic stressors such as eutrophication and coastal development. Yet, the mechanistic interactions between these ecosystems and environmental change remain unclear due to the complexity of studying the seagrass habitat, which exhibit a multitude of chemical gradients and dynamics. The requirement for high-resolution measurement techniques for resolving the biogeochemical dynamics and microenvironments surrounding seagrasses in their natural habitat has led to the development of a variety of chemical techniques typically quantifying a single analyte at a time, which gives limited insight to the true dynamics of the seagrass-sediment interaction which is central for seagrass fitness and survival under environmental change. The SIPODET project will develop new multi-parameter chemical imaging techniques by combining luminescence-based optical sensor foils (planar optodes) with diffusional equilibrium in thin-film (DET) enabling simultaneous sensing of pO2, iron, phosphate, nitrite/nitrate, ammonium, manganese, pCO2 and pH. This project will encompass expert training of Dr. Cesbron in the use of planar optodes complementing his expertise in 2D DET mapping of chemical species, which will enable the development of a novel combined chemical imaging technology mentored by a world leader in microenvironmental analysis. The novel technology will investigate the dynamic chemical microenvironment in the seagrass rhizosphere and how this is modulated by environmental change and plant stress (e.g. effects of temperature, pH or eutrophication) in Zostera marina and Zostera noltei.
IN THE SAME SEA is the first systematic investigation of the combined history of the Lesser Antilles from the 1650s to the 1850s. The project advances the hypothesis that the Lesser Antilles were decisively shaped by inter-island connections that transformed separate islands into a common world of slavery and freedom. Living in fragile societies of limited resources and marked by racial slavery, plantation production, and long-distance commerce, enslaved Africans, free people of color, and Europeans depended on and gained vital resources from crossing the short sea routes to their neighbors in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, and Swedish colonies. The project consists of a team specializing in the historiographies, archives, and languages of the six colonial powers present in the Lesser Antilles. A collaborative research methodology and digital solutions to data collection and mapping, enable the project to generate crucial new knowledge of how inter-island connections shaped the Lesser Antilles. This is done in five work packages covering the inter-island trade, enslaved movement, maintaining slavery, island belonging, and cultural responses to living in fragile societies. The project features a number of key elements designed to ensure its impact on the historical field and beyond. First, the project challenges the long-standing focus on European empires as the fundamental lodestone of the history of the Lesser Antilles. Second, it lays the foundation for an online database and digital mapping resource, which will become a crucial research tool in the fields of Caribbean and Atlantic history. Third, it brings a new analytical model to the efforts of studying spatial processes within several fields, amongst others, Atlantic history, new imperial history, and global history. Finally, the project provides vital input to the ongoing dialogues between states and institutions in the Lesser Antilles and Europe regarding the legacies of European colonialism.
Frameworks for assessing the risk of invasive species under climate change are still not widely applied although biological invasions and climate change rank among the top threats to biodiversity, economy and human well-being globally. This is at least partly due to a lack of reliable predictions of invasion success and range dynamics under changing climates. Mechanistic and process-based models are theoretically well-suited to generate spatially explicit forecasts of species invasion risk, as they are ecologically realistic and allow accounting for species evolutionary potential. Their use however lags behind that of less data-demanding and relatively easy to use correlative tools. This project will therefore investigate the ecological and evolutionary factors determining when more complex but ecologically realistic mechanistic and process-based model approaches yield better forecasts of invasion risk than simple correlative tools. The project will combine a detailed investigation of well-known avian invader (the ring-necked parakeet) with a multi-species assessment of a large number of avian invaders in Europe and Australia. These invasions offer an exceptional model system for answering the questions at hand. This timely Fellowship answers to calls to move from patterns to processes, and as recent European legislation requires consideration of synergistic impacts of climate change on biological invasion risks, Fellowship outputs will relevant for policy as well. The host institute (CMEC) is at the forefront of macroecology and climate change biology, and brings worldwide access to excellent researchers with experience directly relevant for the Fellowship (C. Rahbek, M. Araújo, D. Nogués-Bravo). I will not only benefit from deepening my analytical skills and conceptual understanding of macroecological research frameworks, but CMEC’s training experience in academic leadership will enable me to reach a position of professional maturity at a high international level.
This project focuses on the Baum-Connes conjecture formulation for discrete quantum groups. The work of R. Meyer and R. Nest in the second half of 2000's has lead to a categorial formulation of the Baum-Connes conjecture in the context of triangulated categories. This reformulation works for both classical locally compact groups and torsion-free discrete quantum groups. Thus one of the main questions that the project aims to understand is the torsion phenomena for discrete quantum groups in relation with the categorical framework of Meyer-Nest. This will allow to manipulate conveniently the corresponding homological algebra for two main purposes. First, introducing a new insight for a proper formulation of the Baum-Connes conjecture for arbitrary discrete quantum groups. Second, carrying out explicit K-theory computations of C*-algebras defining relevant examples of quantum semi-direct products and free wreath products. The compact bicrossed product construction will be studied in detail in this framework in order to classify its torsion actions and to obtain the corresponding stability result of BC. Moreover, this construction will provide a vast class of new examples satisfying the quantum BC conjecture coming from recent constructions by several authors involving approximation properties such as property (T) or Haagerup property. The project aims also to carry out further developments in the quantum setting. One the one hand, defining and developping a quantum equivariant Künneth formula theory using the notion of Künneth functor. On the other hand, studying the recently discovered connections between compact quantum groups and non-local games, in the framework of quantum information theory, in order to address relevant open questions concerning the Connes' embedding conjecture with potential applications and consequences within the area of algorithm theory in computer science.
High latitude ecosystems, which experience particular high rates of climate warming are subject to changes in nitrogen (N) cycling due increased decomposition and changes in atmospheric N fixation and deposition. In cold ecosystems, temperature and low N availability restricts organic matter decomposition and plant growth, which affect ecosystem carbon (C) storage and thus climate feedback mechanisms. Understanding N cycling in high latitude ecosystems is therefore essential for understanding consequences of climate change. Mosses, which constitute a major component in high latitude ecosystems, intercept N entering the ecosystem via deposition and they host bacteria that fix atmospheric N. Therefore, they may be an important source for new N to the rest of the ecosystem. However, mosses do not easily decompose and the fate of N taken up by mosses is not well understood. Most vascular plants optimise their N uptake through partnerships with mycorrhizal fungi, which in return for labile C take up nutrients via extensive mycelium in the soil, and transfer a share to the host. Despite the presence of mycorrhizal fungi in the moss layer, their role in transfer of N from moss to plants is unknown. The overall aim of MYCOMOSS is to develop mechanistic and quantitative understanding of the role of mosses as providers of new N to N-limited high latitude ecosystems under climate change. This will be achieved by 1) making a full N budget of mosses under the effect of climate change manipulations in the field, 2) by exploring the role of different types of mycorrhiza across three major high latitude ecosystem types of Europe 3) and by tracing N from mosses through the ecosystem using stable isotope labelling. The quality of the implementation will be ensured by the fellow’s expertise in moss ecology and plant interactions, the host’s specialized knowledge about element cycling, and the secondment partner’s expertise on fungal community ecology.