Bayreuth, Germany

University of Bayreuth
Bayreuth, Germany

The University of Bayreuth is a public research university situated in Bayreuth, Germany. It was founded in 1975 as a campus university focusing on international collaboration and interdisciplinarity. The university has an outstanding reputation in a broad range of disciplines and currently maintains a network of more than 450 international cooperations with research institutes and universities around the world. It is broadly organized into six undergraduate and graduate faculties, with each faculty defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university is renowned for offering several interdisciplinary courses such as Philosophy & Economics, Global Change Ecology, Theatre and Media studies, and Health Economics. The management, economics and law programs are ranked among the top degrees in Germany. In 2013 the university was ranked on place number 40 in the Times Higher Education world university ranking for universities founded less than 50 years ago.It is a member of the Elite Network of Bavaria , a coalition of leading research universities jointly offering graduate programs and international doctorate programs. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-16-2014 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2015

Terrestrial and marine ecosystems provide essential services to human societies. Anthropogenic pressures, however, cause serious threat to ecosystems, leading to habitat degradation, increased risk of collapse and loss of ecosystem services. Knowledge-based conservation, management and restoration policies are needed to improve ecosystem benefits in face of increasing pressures. ECOPOTENTIAL makes significant progress beyond the state-of-the-art and creates a unified framework for ecosystem studies and management of protected areas (PA). ECOPOTENTIAL focuses on internationally recognized PAs in Europe and beyond in a wide range of biogeographic regions, and it includes UNESCO, Natura2000 and LTER sites and Large Marine Ecosystems. Best use of Earth Observation (EO) and monitoring data is enabled by new EO open-access ecosystem data services (ECOPERNICUS). Modelling approaches including information from EO data are devised, ecosystem services in current and future conditions are assessed and the requirements of future protected areas are defined. Conceptual approaches based on Essential Variables, Macrosystem Ecology and cross-scale interactions allow for a deeper understanding of the Earths Critical Zone. Open and interoperable access to data and knowledge is assured by a GEO Ecosystem Virtual Laboratory Platform, fully integrated in GEOSS. Support to transparent and knowledge-based conservation and management policies, able to include information from EO data, is developed. Knowledge gained in the PAs is upscaled to pan-European conditions and used for planning and management of future PAs. A permanent stakeholder consultancy group (GEO Ecosystem Community of Practice) will be created. Capacity building is pursued at all levels. SMEs are involved to create expertise leading to new job opportunities, ensuring long-term continuation of services. In summary, ECOPOTENTIAL uses the most advanced technologies to improve future ecosystem benefits for humankind.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-22-2016 | Award Amount: 2.87M | Year: 2017

The STORIES project aims to contribute to a dynamic future of childrens ebooks evolution by a) developing user-friendly interfaces for young students (10-12 years old) to create their own multi-path stories expressing their imagination and creativity and b) by integrating the latest AR, VR and 3D printing technologies to visualize their stories in numerous innovative ways. In the heart of this intervention lies the vision for integrated curricula and deeper learning outcomes. The project will offer these innovations through a single environment, the STORIES Storytelling Platform which will be the place for students artistic expression and scientific inquiry at the same time. The creations of the students (paintings, models, dioramas and constructions, 3D objects and landscapes, animations, science videos and science theatre plays) will be captured and integrated in the form of interactive ebooks. The STORIES technical team will design advanced interfaces in which students will be able to augment characters, buildings, greenhouses and different 3D geometrical structures on a tablet or their computer and inspect their work using a mobile device. The outcome of their work will be detected and tracked, and the video stream is augmented with an animated 3D version of the character or the artefact. The platform will be tested in real settings in Germany, Greece, Portugal, France, Finland and Japan, involving 60 teachers and 3000 students (5th and 6th grade). To achieve this, the proposed project is developing a novel cooperation between creative industries and electronic publishing, educational research institutions in the field of STEM, schools and informal learning centres. The consortium includes 15 partners from Europe, USA, Japan and Australia. But STORIES is going beyond that: The consortium will cooperate in the design of the platform and in the development of the storyline mechanism with Eugene (Eugenios) Trivizas, well known writer of childrens books.

Schuster S.,University of Bayreuth
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2012

Decision-making networks must be tuned according to the rules that govern which action will be rewarded for a given constellation of current sensory information. Somehow these rules must be implemented in the networks that translate the sensory cues to actions but the nature of this representation is enigmatic. Recent findings suggest that Mauthner-associated networks in some fish can govern surprisingly sophisticated and plastic decisions in which the rules of prey motion govern what speed and direction must be selected to be at the right point at the right time. With the key cellular players individually identifiable, fish can help us to discover the nature of how rules are represented in decision-making circuitry of the vertebrate brain. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Westermann B.,University of Bayreuth
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that constantly fuse and divide. These processes (collectively termed mitochondrial dynamics) are important for mitochondrial inheritance and for the maintenance of mitochondrial functions. The core components of the evolutionarily conserved fusion and fission machineries have now been identified, and mechanistic studies have revealed the first secrets of the complex processes that govern fusion and fission of a double membrane-bound organelle. Mitochondrial dynamics was recently recognized as an important constituent of cellular quality control. Defects have detrimental consequences on bioenergetic supply and contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. These findings open exciting new directions to explore mitochondrial biology. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Michlik S.,University of Bayreuth | Kempe R.,University of Bayreuth
Nature Chemistry | Year: 2013

The pyrrole heterocycle is a prominent chemical motif and is found widely in natural products, drugs, catalysts and advanced materials. Here we introduce a sustainable iridium-catalysed pyrrole synthesis in which secondary alcohols and amino alcohols are deoxygenated and linked selectively via the formation of C-N and C-C bonds. Two equivalents of hydrogen gas are eliminated in the course of the reaction, and alcohols based entirely on renewable resources can be used as starting materials. The catalytic synthesis protocol tolerates a large variety of functional groups, which includes olefins, chlorides, bromides, organometallic moieties, amines and hydroxyl groups. We have developed a catalyst that operates efficiently under mild conditions.© 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Walther G.-R.,University of Bayreuth
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

There is ample evidence for ecological responses to recent climate change. Most studies to date have concentrated on the effects of climate change on individuals and species, with particular emphasis on the effects on phenology and physiology of organisms as well as changes in the distribution and range shifts of species. However, responses by individual species to climate change are not isolated; they are connected through interactions with others at the same or adjacent trophic levels. Also from this more complex perspective, recent case studies have emphasized evidence on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services. This review highlights the 'knowns' but also 'unknowns' resulting from recent climate impact studies and reveals limitations of (linear) extrapolations from recent climate-induced responses of species to expected trends and magnitudes of future climate change. Hence, there is need not only to continue to focus on the impacts of climate change on the actors in ecological networks but also and more intensively to focus on the linkages between them, and to acknowledge that biotic interactions and feedback processes lead to highly complex, nonlinear and sometimes abrupt responses. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Grune L.,University of Bayreuth
Automatica | Year: 2013

We consider a receding horizon control scheme without terminal constraints in which the stage cost is defined by economic criteria, i.e., not necessarily linked to a stabilization or tracking problem. We analyze the performance of the resulting receding horizon controller with a particular focus on the case of optimal steady states for the corresponding averaged infinite horizon problem. Using a turnpike property and suitable controllability properties we prove near optimal performance of the controller and convergence of the closed loop solution to a neighborhood of the optimal steady state. Two examples illustrate our findings numerically and show how to verify the imposed assumptions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 2.29M | Year: 2016

An immensely valuable asset to the field of synthetic biology would be a means to genetically endow magnetism to living organisms, which is still an unsolved challenge due to the lack of appropriate tools. In contrast, biomagnetism is innate to magnetotactic bacteria, mud-dwelling microbes which as geomagnetic sensors biomineralize iron nanocrystals with exceptional properties, the magnetosomes. However, transplantation of magnetosome biosynthesis has remained unachieved for many years, owing to its complexity and lack of knowledge of genetic determinants. Recently, my lab discovered relevant biosynthetic gene clusters and for the first time succeeded in expressing them in a foreign bacterium. Inspired by this major breakthrough, I now propose a step change approach for endogenous magnetization of diverse organisms based on bacterial magnetosome biosynthesis. By combining systematic genetic reduction with bottom-up redesign we will first minimize the pathway to make it universally portable. We will then reprogram E. coli into a chassis for plug-in expression of diverse magnetosome gene sets. By harnessing determinants of structurally diverse magnetosomes from various bacteria, we will reconfigure the pathway for mix-and-match generation of designer nanoparticles with tuned magnetic properties. Finally, we will attempt to reconstitute key parts of magnetosome formation in eukaryotic hosts by using yeast mitochondria as a universal model. The overall aim is to generate a versatile synthetic toolkit for genetic magnetization of different organisms. This would represent a quantum leap with tremendous impact on various fields of biomedical research and biotechnology. It might be exploited for bioproduction of tailored magnetic nanomaterials with novel and tunable properties. It could be further utilized to generate intracellular labels, tracers and actuators for magnetic manipulation and analysis of cells and organisms in the emerging field of magnetogenetics.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-2016-STG | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2017

Efficient daytime cooling without the need for a heat engine is an essential technology to lower our overall energy consumption. Nature offers a chance to off-load heat directly into the cold outer space via the so-called sky window: a spectral range from 8 13 m, where our atmosphere is transparent. Concomitantly, solar radiance influx needs to be minimized by scattering and reflection, which would counteract the radiatively removed energy. VISIRday aims to provide ground-breaking new materials and concepts to emit thermal energy directly into this transparent sky window. A radically holistic approach is necessary to understand and design the optical properties of nano- and mesostructured materials over the entire spectral range (300 nm 20 m), with the mid-IR sky window being fully emissive, and all other spectral wavelengths being fully reflective. I will therefore combine top-down direct write lithography with intricate bottom-up colloidal self-assembly to device hierarchically structured systems fully addressing these stringent optical properties. A new material class surface phonon polariton supporting nano- and mesoparticles with adjustable absorption properties in the mid-IR range, will take a leading role as novel colloidal building block. In combination with polymers and metallic nanostructures my team will demonstrate hybrid structures with finely adjusted and even externally tuneable optical properties. Simulations based on finite element modelling to conceive optimum design rules will complement the experimental work. Inspired by examples from nature, namely white beetles and the Saharan silver ant, I will push the fundamental insights towards novel technologies such as radiative daytime cooling paints and fibres. I am convinced that this project provides the urgently needed materials and concepts to add radiative daytime cooling to the existing mix of green energy technologies.

Westermann B.,University of Bayreuth
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2012

Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles. Frequent cycles of fusion and fission adapt the morphology of the mitochondrial compartment to the metabolic needs of the cell. Mitochondrial fusion is particularly important in respiratory active cells. It allows the spreading of metabolites, enzymes, and mitochondrial gene products throughout the entire mitochondrial compartment. This serves to optimize mitochondrial function and counteracts the accumulation of mitochondrial mutations during aging. Fragmented mitochondria are frequently found in resting cells, and mitochondrial fission plays an important role in the removal of damaged organelles by autophagy. Thus, mitochondrial fusion and fission both contribute to maintenance of mitochondrial function and optimize bioenergetic capacity. Multiple signalling pathways regulate the machinery of mitochondrial dynamics to adapt the shape of the mitochondrial compartment to the metabolic conditions of the cell. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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