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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IEF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF | Award Amount: 235.00K | Year: 2014

Weathering of silicate rocks acts as a major sink for atmospheric CO2, and hence is thought to have played an important role in regulating the Earths climate over geological time. Despite the potential importance of this process, and its significance to the global carbon cycle, our ability to reconstruct past variations in silicate weathering remains limited. Another important issue is the degree to which human-induced environmental degradation has affected continental weathering on shorter time scales, from tens to thousands of years. A better understanding of how chemical weathering relates to climate change and human activities is necessary to address these issues. The SI-PALEO project proposes to explore the use of silicon isotopes in marine sediments as a new proxy for past continental weathering. Recent advances in the understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of silicon on continents have shown that Si isotopes could provide a unique tool for tracing the evolution of silicate weathering through time. In this study, the main objectives will be: 1) to determine the factors controlling the distribution of Si isotope ratios in terrigenous sediments, and 2) to assess the impact of climate change and human activities on past chemical weathering in Central Africa. These objectives will be addressed by analysing an extensive collection of river-borne sediments and exceptional marine sediment records from the Congo area. SI-PALEO is a multi-disciplinary project, proposed together by a French marine geoscientist and the Royal Museum of Central Africa (Belgium), a first-class centre for scientific research in Africa with expertise on Si isotope geochemistry, Earth Surface processes and archaeology. The data acquired during this project should improve our understanding of past interactions between climate, environment, and human activities. SI-PALEO will also contribute at strenghtening the applicants position in this novel frontier area of research.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 9.65M | Year: 2009

SYNTHESYS IA will aid in the evolution of a European resource through the creation an accessible, integrated infrastructure for researchers in the natural sciences in Europe and globally. By focusing the JRA on DNA extraction, SYNTHESYS IA will increase the opportunities for Users to exploit a largely untapped facet of the 337 million strong collections. Users will be able to play an active role in generating new knowledge based on molecular and morphological studies. A range of new services and improved access both physical and digital will be provided to a broad range of scientific Users (from biological and geological related disciplines) in a consistent and more easily accessible way. The new tools to be developed and disseminated will give Users the chance to pursue new avenues for independent studies at the leading edge of biodiversity and environmental research.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.16. | Award Amount: 10.15M | Year: 2013

SYNTHESYS3 will create an accessible, integrated European resource for researchers in the natural sciences in Europe and globally. Building on the success of the previous SYNTHESYS IA, the NA will focus on improving collections management of new physical and virtual collections. By focusing the JRA on extracting and enhancing data from digitised collections, SYNTHESYS3 will increase the accessibility of these 390 million strong collections. A wide range of services and access both physical and digital will be provided to a broad range of scientific Users (from biological and geological related disciplines) in a consistent and accessible way. The natural history collections, held within the museums and herbaria, of Europe are World-class in terms of their magnitude and taxonomic coverage. They represent a resource unique in Europe as a model of the diversity of life on earth and are a physical dataset enabling Users to research how the human activity (including climate change) is having an increasingly negative impact on the diversity and distribution of biodiversity, which is threatening the continued provision of ecosystem services essential to human well-being.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.2-2 | Award Amount: 11.59M | Year: 2012

Sustainable governance of our biological resources requires reliable scientific knowledge that meets the needs of society. Current biodiversity observation systems and environmental datasets are unbalanced in coverage and not integrated, limiting integrative analyses and implementation of environmental policies. EU BON presents an innovative approach towards integration of biodiversity information systems from on-ground to remote sensing data, for addressing policy and information needs in a timely and customized manner. EU BON will provide integration between social networks of science and policy and technological networks of interoperating IT infrastructures, resulting in a new open-access platform for sharing biodiversity data and tools, and greatly advance biodiversity knowledge in Europe. EU BONs 30 partners from 18 countries are members of networks of biodiversity data-holders, monitoring organisations, and leading scientific institutions. EU BON will build on existing components, in particular GBIF, LifeWatch infrastructures, and national biodiversity data centres. EU BON will 1) enable greater interoperability of data layers and systems through adoption of new standards; 2) advance data integration by new (modelling) technologies; 3) increase data mobilisation via scientific communities, citizen scientists, and potential data users; 4) develop strategies for future harmonizing and mainstreaming of biodiversity recording and monitoring; 5) improve analytical tools and services interpreting biodiversity data; 6) support the science-policy interface by timely information and scenario development; 7) link integrated, customized information to relevant stakeholders, and 8) strengthen overall European capacities and infrastructures for environmental information management. EU BONs deliverables include a comprehensive European Biodiversity Portal for all stakeholder communities, and strategies for a global implementation of GEO BON and supporting IPBES.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 124.26K | Year: 2012

On the 28th of September 2012, Six events will be organized in five Belgian cities in the frame of the European Researchers night : Brussels (2); Charleroi, Lige, Louvain-la-Neuve and Mons. For this edition, 17 partners agreed to animate the different events on the theme of Science@home : How science, research and innovation are indispensable in a normal house, and how they will improve our daily life and our houses in the (near) future... This theme will enable the citizens to better understand and appreciate the work of researchers but also the role of innovation to transform research results in concrete (daily) applications. Before the night, young people will be invited through a wide communication campaign, to draw the house of the future and to come afterwards to the nearest organized event if they were close from reality ! Animations, games, experiments, discussions, films, and other activities will make this event dynamic. The interaction between researchers and visitors will enhance the recognition of the role of the researchers in society and in daily life. It will also promote the careers of researchers among the younger public. Finally, this will help the public to go beyond certain preconceptions about researchers and show that these are not odd characters stuck in a laboratory, but people like you and me.

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