Dr. Kathrin Rousk awarded €1.5 million ERC Starting Grant

8.10.2020 | The funding will be used to investigate the vital process of nitrogen fixation in understudied, pristine environments.
Dr. Kathrin Rousk
Bild vergrößern
(© Kathrin Rousk)

Dr. Kathrin Rousk

Ecologist Dr. Kathrin Rousk, based at the University of Copenhagen, has secured €1.5 million worth of funding in the form of a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. The grant will run for five years.

Dr. Rousk studies a key ecosystem process: nitrogen fixation. The process is critical to life because the nitrogen is necessary for the natural synthesis of compounds like amino acids and proteins. Rousk’s research focuses specifically on how nitrogen fixation is controlled in the relationship between moss and cyanobacteria, which is a crucial source of nitrogen in environments undisturbed and unpolluted by humans, such as boreal forests and subarctic tundra.

The new ERC grant will allow Dr. Rousk to develop the field, which is still in its infancy, and shift research focus from Northern ecosystems to more understudied areas, like tropical cloud forests, which are also home to both moss and cyanobacteria. Her group will also study how the moss-cyanobacteria relationship might be affected by climate change, and develop models that will more accurately describe the biogeochemistry of the forests.

After completing her MSc at the University of Marburg, Germany, Dr. Rousk undertook a PhD in Forest Ecology at Bangor University in the UK. Then, after a six month postdoctoral position at Lund University in Sweden, she secured a personal grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark and moved to Copenhagen. Her new ERC grant will start in 2021.   (© AcademiaNet)

More information


  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

Follow us

No more excuses!

  1. Please download the brochure "No more excuses" and read more about female experts in Europe, and about AcademiaNet.


  1. Verena Rieser: ‘A lot of voice assistants with female personas are deliberately submissive’

    How do you design a helpful robot that doesn’t accept verbal abuse? AcademiaNet met computer scientist, Prof Verena Rieser, for a chat about gendered voice assistants, AI for the common good and how to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic on women’s careers.

  2. Veerle Cnudde secures prestigious €1.5 million Vici grant from NWO

    The funds will go towards a project on bioprotection of stone using bacteria.

  3. Rubina Raja to publish book series on women of the past

    The classical archaeologist will act as editor on the series which will explore the lives of women throughout history.

  4. Manami Sasaki part of new stellar X-ray Research Unit eRO-STEP funded by DFG

    The astronomer will use a satellite x-ray telescope to study the final stages in the lives of stars.

  5. ‘Scientists are still human beings with presuppositions about sex differences’

    Science is meant to be objective but sometimes the personal bias of the researcher gets in the way. To find out more, AcademiaNet went online for a conversation with Associate Professor Malin Ah-King from Stockholm University, whose work sits at the intersection of gender studies and evolutionary biology.

Academia Net