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University of Bonn

University of Bonn

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248 Projects, page 1 of 50
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 321636
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 891566
    Overall Budget: 174,806 EURFunder Contribution: 174,806 EUR

    Farming without pesticides is a major challenge for agriculture today. A promising approach is to design agroecosystems that favour pest regulating processes. Weeds, insect herbivores and pathogens are the main pests in cropping systems, and, so far, they have been mostly studied separately. The WIDE-Synergies project will consider them together by hypothesising that there are synergies in simultaneous management of Weeds, Insect herbivores, Diseases, and their natural Enemies (i.e. WIDE) in agroecosystems. The WIDE-Synergies project aims to (i) quantify the effect of pesticide-free farming practices on these pests and their enemies, (ii) identify the synergies and/or trade-offs in their simultaneous management and (iii) assess the effects on crop yield. Two field experiments with cereals will be conducted in parallel at the Wiesengut experimental farm of the University of Bonn, Germany. Both experiments will compare farming practices aimed at controlling weeds without herbicides, and known to also affect insects and diseases: mechanical weeding, intercropping and under-sowing with a living mulch, in addition to two control treatments (i.e. five treatments repeated four times in a randomised block design). One experiment will contain wildflower strips at plot margins as a semi-natural habitat for biodiversity and the other will have bare soil between plots. The abundance and regulation of weeds, insect herbivores and diseases, as well as of their natural enemies, will be monitored in the fields over two consecutive years. Crop yield will be measured at harvest. Treatments will be compared within and between field experiments. The results are expected to be scientifically highly innovative, and of high interest to farmers and their advisers who will be invited to follow the research project and discuss its output. Communication channels will also be developed to inform non-specialists of the research that aims to develop safe and healthy agriculture in Europe.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101088528
    Overall Budget: 1,999,740 EURFunder Contribution: 1,999,740 EUR

    The foundations of the general theory of relativity (GR) were laid by Albert Einstein in 1915. But much of what has been built on those foundations was developed in the Renaissance Period of GR between 1955 and 1975. Indeed, without the concepts and tools formed during this Renaissance, the recent observation of gravitational waves, rewarded with the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017, and the convincing prediction of and mounting evidence for the existence of black holes, rewarded with the Nobel Prize in physics in 2020, would not have been possible. At the centre of the Renaissance of GR is Roger Penrose. It was Penrose who developed much of the tool box that made the successes of the Renaissance possible. Penrose was surrounded by and built upon the work of the newly emerging international community of relativists, in particular Hermann Bondi at Cambridge, John Wheeler at Princeton, Jürgen Ehlers at Hamburg, and Stephen Hawking at Cambridge. The Centre of Gravity Project (COGY) will combine pioneering research on the literary estates of the core figures of the Renaissance period, including unique access to the hitherto inaccessible Penrose estate, with the analysis of detailed oral-history interviews. The analysis will be helped by the creation of a novel kind of database that will help cross-correlate the different sources. The aim is to get to the bottom of the most advanced mathematical techniques and conceptual innovations of GR, concepts like black holes and event horizons. In understanding the genesis and subsequent interpretation of these concepts we will also lay the groundwork for understanding the most exciting elements of today's physics: the physics of gravitational waves as they arise from black hole and neutron star mergers, as well as of the supermassive black hole around which our entire galaxy rotates.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 267173
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101075824
    Overall Budget: 1,452,640 EURFunder Contribution: 1,452,640 EUR

    Land degradation is one of the major sustainability challenges of our time. It is a driver of climate change, biodiversity loss, and water pollution, and reduces global agricultural productivity. This requires effective and economically efficient policies. Here, I outline a project that combines the global measurement and modelling of land degradation trends with econometric research designs to estimate policy effectiveness, their benefit cost ratios, and how design features and contextual factors explain policy performance. This research builds on the unique expertise I have developed over the last 5 years. The project consists of four work packages. In the first WP, global datasets will be build, including a new database of public policies relevant to land conditions, maps of different land degradation indicators, such as soil productivity trends, vegetation and agricultural yield changes, soil erosion and pollution, and land cover changes, such as cropland expansion and forest loss. In the second WP, econometric research designs (such as difference-in-differences, difference-in discontinuities, and synthetic control) will be used to estimate the causal effect(s) of public policies on land conditions. The comprehensiveness and global scope of the analysis means that for the first time, we will have the “full picture”, largely free of selection and publication biases, and methodologically unified. In the third WP, all the policies’ costs and benefits will be compared to each other and we will quantify how much benefit each policy has been generating per its costs. In the fourth WP, we will use both conventional econometric techniques and novel machine learning approaches to systematically explain when and why some public policies perform better than others. This research will generate new insights on how to improve public policies to mitigate and reverse land degradation. I expect it will generate high interest among academics, policy makers, and the public.


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