open places: Research with biological material from abroad – International regulations and due diligence in research

The course will be held online. Registration (closes soon): https://ethz.ch/services/en/service/courses-continuing-education.html—> Choose Plant Sciences to view and register for all currently offered PSC courses.

5 & 6 November 2020

Do you work with biological material from abroad? Do you know, how to correctly proceed with access and benefit sharing, material transferagreements and other procedures?


In this intensive 2-day training workshop with experts from the federal administration the focus is on your research examples and exemplifiedcase studies to demonstrate how to correctly proceed. The course is open to PhD students, postdoc fellows and PIs. Register now!

The circulation of samples of plants, animals, microorganisms is not a new phenomenon. Passing them on as seeds, plants, germplasm, dried specimens etc. has a long tradition among scientists. It spurred innovation and knowledge production for the benefit of global health, agriculture, conservation and sectors such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

It also generated questions and concerns about ownership (e.g. intellectual property, patents) and the fair share of the benefits that result from the use of biological material. This triggered a complex international regulatory landscape for the governance of genetic resources.
Now, existing regulations on access, import and exchange of biological material and samples strongly affect academic research, even for purelynon-commercial purpose.

The course will provide solid knowledge on

  • correct and lawful access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing for academic research;
  • the multilateral system of the international plant treaty;
  • requirements for importing material under CITES and Swiss regulations; and
  • available support and counseling services for scientists in Switzerland.

Contact: sylvia.martinez@unibas.ch 

CALL 3 FOR PHD APPLICATIONS – DEADLINE Dec 1, 2020

Call 3 for PhD applications within the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme «to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences»

RESPONSE DP is offering 8 early-stage researcher’s positions for 36 months (100%) at the interface of science and policy, as well as science and innovation at one of the three world-leading academic host organization – ETH Zurich and University of Zurich.

RESPONSE DP will train ESRs to reflect on their role as scientists in society, contributing with evidence to policymaking and to build capacities to address global challenges in the areas of sustainable food systems, sustainable energy systems and sustainable land use decisions.

For more information about RESPONSE, open positions and further steps (i.e. submit your application), have a look at:https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html

ETH Zurich and University of Zurich are dedicated to promoting the role of women in science, and, therefore, explicitly invites women to apply.

Following up the summer school 2018: PSC published proceedings

Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center: Proceedings of the PlantHUB Summer School 2018, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Plant Sciences.

Melanie Paschke (ed.). With contributions by: Manuela Dahinden, Gregory Grin, Melanie Paschke, Christine Rösch, Daan Schuurbiers, Foteini Zampati, Camilo Chiang, Franco Conci, Claudio Cropano, Florian Cueni, Seydina Issa Diop, Daniel Grogg, Manuel Nolte, Ina Schlathölter, Giacomo Potente and Maximilian Vogt.

DOWNLOAD

The laboratory is in many ways still a protected space, in which (especially young) researchers are effectively shielded from outside pressures by their lab directors (Rip, 2003). The challenge for educational programs that aim to raise the level of attention to RRI issues is, therefore, to demonstrate the added value of social and ethical reflection for the researcher’s own work.

Continue reading Following up the summer school 2018: PSC published proceedings

How can biodiversity-ecosystem function research (BEF) be used to inform ecosystem managers and policy-makers?

Ecosystem researchers currently do different types of BEF research. How can these studies be used in policymaking? A recent analysis with involvement of Prof. Nina Buchmann from ETH Zurich and member of PSC came up with recommendations:

Continue reading How can biodiversity-ecosystem function research (BEF) be used to inform ecosystem managers and policy-makers?

How can policymakers decide if protected areas (=PA) in the Alps will be able to secure high-species richness under climate future change?

Protected areas like the Swiss National Park should conserve native plant and animal species in the Alps now and in the future. With upcoming climate change the habitats of species shift and the spatial distribution of alpine biodiversity is changing.

Can researchers predict if protected areas can uphold conservation goals under these changing conditions? How can policymakers decide if they need to update the boundaries of existing protected areas or if new ones need to be created in specific areas to conserve alpine biodiversity?

Continue reading How can policymakers decide if protected areas (=PA) in the Alps will be able to secure high-species richness under climate future change?

Dramatic Loss of Food Plants for Insects

The diversity of food plants for insects in the canton of Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years or so. This means that bees, flies and butterflies are increasingly deprived of their food base, a team of researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Zurich (Reto Nyffler, Michael Kessler) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL has demonstrated. The results are transferable to the whole of Central Europe, with minor regional restrictions.

Source: https://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2020/Loss-of-Plants.html

Stefan Abrahamczyk, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Michael Nobis, Reto Nyffeler, Michael Kessler: Shifts in food plant abundance for flower-visiting insects between 1900 and 2017 in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, Ecological Applications, 23 April 2020. DOI: 10.1002/eap.2138

Public Round Table: What’s next after the ECJ judgment on gene editing?

The participants of the TNAM 2019 (Tri-National Arabidopsis Meeting) took a tri-national view (Switzerland, Germany and Austria) of the main issues and potential consequences of the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on organisms obtained by mutagenesis. A summary of this public round table is available here. Further information and recommendations are published by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

CALL 2 FOR PHD APPLICATIONS – DEADLINE JUL 1, 2020

Call 2 for PhD applications within the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme «to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences»

RESPONSE DP is offering 7 early-stage researcher’s positions for 36 months (100%) at the interface of science and policy, as well as science and innovation at one of the three world-leading academic host organization – ETH Zurich and University of Zurich.

RESPONSE DP will train ESRs to reflect on their role as scientists in society, contributing with evidence to policymaking and to build capacities to address global challenges in the areas of sustainable food systems, sustainable energy systems and sustainable land use decisions.

For more information about RESPONSE, open positions and further steps (i.e. submit your application), have a look at:

https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html

ETH Zurich and University of Zurich are dedicated to promoting the role of women in science, and, therefore, explicitly invites women to apply.

Call 1 for PhD applications – Deadline Dec 1, 2019

Call 1 for PhD applications within the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme «to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences»

RESPONSE DP is offering 8 early-stage researcher’s positions for 36 months (100%) at the interface of science and policy, as well as science and innovation at one of the three world-leading academic host organization – ETH Zurich, University of Zurich or University of Basel.

RESPONSE DP will train ESRs to reflect on their role as scientists in society, contributing with evidence to policymaking and to build capacities to address global challenges in the areas of sustainable food systems, sustainable energy systems and sustainable land use decisions.

For more information about RESPONSE, open positions and further steps (i.e. submit your application), have a look at:

https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html

ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and University Basel are dedicated to promoting the role of women in science, and, therefore, explicitly invites women to apply.

Fixing carbon in subtropical forest to mitigate climate change

How to transfer the knowledge to farmers

By Yuanyuan Huang

What evidence was useful for policymaking?

Huang et al (2018) in close cooperation between University of Zurich and the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, searched the links between to forests diversity and forest ecosystem services in a large biodiversity experiment in a subtropical forest in China.

Continue reading Fixing carbon in subtropical forest to mitigate climate change