A team of researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of Copenhagen, among them Dr. María Escudero Escribano, discovered alloys that are efficient catalysts for oxygen reduction in fuel cells.
Plant propagation, urban horticulture, vegetable grafting, medicinal plant research
My research interests include the selection, evaluation and propagation of economically important plants that are either difficult-to-propagate, neglected or at risk of extinction (several medicinal plant, vegetables and indigenous crop species fall within this category), and the development of improved technologies to ensure their successful establishment.
water management, ecosystem services, agro-ecological landscape change and transformation in sub Sahara Africa, South Asia
Development processes, water management and sustainability in field to meso-scale agricultural landscapes for food, fodder , fibre production,
Interdisciplinary agro-eco systems research
Constructs of resilience , transformation in coupled social -ecological systems
Rainfed crop-livestock opportunities
Sub Sahara Africa, Asia , drylands
Assess, empirically and through modelling water -nutrient-biomass processes at landscape scale for exploring past and future social-ecological transformation
Issues at the intersection of agricultural sciences, agricultural engineering, and hydrology. Evaluating processes under the conditions of climate change. Deriving technical and procedural adjustments. Developing hydrological balances for procedures and branches of industry as the basis of further technical/procedural developments.
Linking scales (continuing to develop instruments in order to predict the interactions between resource use and the impact of measures at different scales).
Developing solutions that combine food security and water efficiency.
Identification of structural features of layer silicates and their manipulation
Optimisation of natural resources in industry, including the ceramics, paper, and foundry industries
Water binding in layered minerals
Deutsches Institut für Tropische und Suptropische Landwirtschaft DITSL, Witzenhausen
Area of specialisation
Social ecology and transdisciplinary research
Processes of transformation in agricultural, environmental and nutritional systems
Innovative processes and communication in agriculture and in rural spaces
Information flows and information processing in social ecological systems
Resilience and adaptability of social ecological systems
System theory and second-order cybernetics
Actor-oriented and participatory approaches
Analysis and integration of knowledge
Collaborative approaches to learning and collective action
Field of application: global food security, management of the environment and resources, adaptation to climate change, agricultural biodiversity and the management of supply chains.
System dynamics; social-ecological systems; transformational change; adaptation to climate change; simulation-gaming; participatory modeling
Transformation processes in agri-food systems: Adaptation to climate change and food security in sub-Saharan African countries
Transformation processes in agri-food systems: Synergies and trade-offs between social, economic and ecological goals
Integrated and long-term planning: Agricultural, regional and national development
Model based policy analysis and design with a specialization in system dynamics modelling
Model based knowledge transfer: using simulation modeling tools and techniques for learning, capacity building and empowerment
Rangeland ecology, ecosystem functioning, Global Change, biodiversity
Functional biodiversity and its role for ecosystem stability and productivity
Functioning & ecosystem services of terrestrial ecosystems in face of Global Change
Ecology & management of fire and grazing disturbances
Harnessing pastoralists' ecological knowledge for developing sustainable strategies of natural resource management
Resilience of pastoral social-ecological systems to changing land-use and climate
Tradeoffs between ecosystem services
My main research area is on protein modifications and changes in molecular functionality induced by glycation (Maillard reactions) and oxidation with a particular emphasis on food and health. My research vision is to improve protein functionality in food and biological systems through increased molecular understanding of protein modifications and hereby make it possible to develop healthy foods of high quality and stability. The role of oxidants, reducing sugars, polyphenols, enzymes and different processes such as thermal processes and light exposure on protein modification is investigated, and how these modifications influence flavour, functionality, loss of enzyme activity, accumulation of damaged materials, decrease in nutritional value, and more recently also adverse effects on health and disease. New gentle technologies to reduce or avoid protein modification and improve protein functionality are developed, and protein damage is prevented by understanding chemical mechanisms for protein modifications. Two research approaches are combined: 1) the establishment of kinetics and reaction mechanisms of protein modifications occurring in biological systems, 2) relating these reaction mechanisms to changes in the molecular functionality of proteins that is of importance to food quality and stability, nutritional value, and in health and disease. By understanding the mechanisms behind protein modifications in food and beverage systems, it will be possible to predict, control and modulate the reactions during production and their subsequent health effects.
Leibniz-Institut für Nutztierbiologie (FBN), Dummerstorf
Area of specialisation
Nutritional physiology, animal nutrition
Amino acid metabolism and requirements
The long-term effects of nutrition in early ontogenetic stages (prenatal and early postnatal) on achievement and health
Regulation of feed intake
Stable-isotope-based study of the parameters of nutrient metabolism
Current research projects:
Vegetation of cultivated agrarian landscapes (Germany, Eastern Europea, Central Asia, China)
Analysis of biodiversity: Landscape structure, landscape dynamics and phytodiversity of ecosystems used for agriculture, development potential of local and regional biodiversity, spatially explicated modelling of vegetation dynamics. Areas of distribution, area formation and genetic structure of endangered plant species
Population dynamics of invasive plant species
Spatial and temporal dynamics of diaspore banks
Management of biodiversity: Results of the cultivation of energy crops
Development of methods for re-establishing declining biotypes (in particular, stream-valley meadows)
Concepts for use and maintenance of declining biotypes in cultivated agrarian landscapes
Soil Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Biogeochemistry, Soil and Water, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance - Relaxometry, Environmental iInterfacial and colloidal Chemistry, Atomic Force Microscopy, Thermal Analysis
Soil interfacial chemistry, water repellency, SOM-Water interactions, microgel aggregate stabilization, soil-plant-interactions, biogeochemical interfaces, soil organic matter, binding and bioavailability of organic chemicals, fate and effects of engineered nanoparticles in soil and water, fate and effects of low quality waste waters and the waste water of the olive oil production
Serious global challenges already apparent today are being exacerbated by the rise in the world population. The increasing demand for plant biomass - not only for food, but also for feed and energy - requires sweeping innovations in the field of plant production. To meet these challenges optimisation of crop yields and adaptation of plants to changing climatic conditions are crucial and call for intensive technological developments. Plant breeding is a key technology to ensure the commercially viable, consumer-oriented, sustainable and environmentally sound production of plants. The innovative power of breeding contributes to all parts of the agricultural value chain, from characterising and utilising genetic resources to providing sufficient amounts of high-quality products in the areas of food, feed, fuel and fibre.
Research at the Chair of Plant Breeding is the quantitative genetic analysis of important traits of our crops such as yield, resource efficiency or adaptation of plants. By consistently employing the latest developments in the field of DNA analysis such as "next-generation" sequencing technologies, bioinformatics, genetical statistics and efficient phenotyping, breeding research is making crucial contributions to characterizing native biodiversity, elucidating its functional characteristics and explaining genetic phenomena such as heterosis and genotype-by-environment interactions. The fundamental insights of quantitative genetics are of high practical relevance in that they contribute to developing optimized, genome-based breeding strategies, to the efficient development of varieties and thus to a sustainable increase in the efficiency of agricultural production.
At the TUM Chair of Plant Breeding, projects are currently being conducted on four crops (maize, rye, wheat, sunflower). Research topics include resistance against abiotic stress (cold tolerance in rye, drought tolerance in maize and wheat), biotic stress (European corn borer resistance in maize) and product quality (wheat). The main topic of all of these projects is the integration of genomic information into the very complex and laborious breeding techniques.
In order to keep up with the rapid pace of developments in the fields of molecular biology, bioinformatics and breeding research, the Synbreed AgroCluster was founded, with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) totalling 12.8 million Euros. A unique interdisciplinary center for genome-based breeding research was thus created coordinated at the Chair of Plant Breeding of the Technische Universität München, Germany, with the goal of developing genome-based selection strategies. The Synbreed AgroCluster is highly innovative and unites scientific excellence with a high degree of practical relevance and application. In the context of a knowledge-based bio-economy, Synbreed will make a significant contribution to the competitiveness of German agriculture.
Joyce Tait has an interdisciplinary background covering both natural and social sciences and has worked on the agrochemical, pharmaceutical and life science industries, specifically strategic planning for innovation, governance and regulation, and stakeholder attitudes and influences. Relevant life science areas include synthetic biology, genetic databases, regenerative medicine, GM crops, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and translational medicine.
Agricultural and environmental political analysis
Environmental and resource economics
Resilience of socio-ecological systems
Institutions and natural resources
Participation and rural development
Geopolitics and cross-border natural resources
Behavioural theory and theory of collective action
Development of methods and analysis of institutions
Land and water management
Protein chemistry and enzymology; Crop protection; Molecular biology of plants; Plant physiology; Plant biotechnology
The "Laboratory of Biochemistry and Glycobiology" at the University of Ghent, headed by Prof. Els Van Damme, is embedded in the Department of Biotechnology (Gent University) has ample expertise in the field of plant biotechnology, protein purification and characterization, cell assays and microscopy, as well as physiological and molecular analyses with plants.
For over 20 years, the research within this group has focused on a multidisciplinary study of biologically active plant proteins, in particular plant lectins. Over the years the focus of the research has shifted from a biochemical towards a molecular biological study aiming at deciphering the role of these proteins in the plant. Since the discovery of several inducible lectins the research has largely focused on the importance of protein-carbohydrate interactions in plants. Nowadays the major research projects running in the lab focus on getting a better understanding of the physiological role of defense-related proteins in plant cell signaling and defense.