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.

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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.

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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:

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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?

Theory of Cange for three Alternative Food Networks in Zurich and Basel

Written by Dubravka Vrdoljak (ETH Zurich, Maria Tereza de Alencar (University of Graz), Anja Tesic (University of Basel)

Many alternative food networks (AFNs) developed over the past few years in Zurich and Basel. AFNs are an umbrella term that encompasses different foci in sustainable food systems, such as community-supported and urban agriculture, short food supply chains up to direct farm retail or food cooperatives with the objectives of shortening the food chain from farmers to consumers, bringing it closer to urban or peri-urban areas; the promotion of community engagement and participation; and the reduction of food waste (Moschitz et al., 2018).

We analyzed three AFNs operating in Zurich and/or Basel, namely Too Good To Go, Urban Agriculture Basel and Bachsemärt for their goals, visions, interventions and formats and organized it in the process-oriented Theory of Change (ToC).

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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.

Effects of seasonal drought on the productivity of grasslands

Recommendations for a sustainable fodder production in changing climate

by Claudia Hahn

What was the main impact for policy?

Claudia Hahn in her fellowship from European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, IDP BRIDGES delivered integral knowledge directly for farmers and their farming practices, but also for the future education of farmers. Moreover, this project sensitized the farmers for climate change and associated problems and possibilities. On basis of this highly topical study successional projects have already been started.

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The influences of N₂-fixing green alder and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on the nitrogen balance in close to natural ecosystems

by Dr. Tobias Bühlmann
Alumni in PSC Science & Policy, now at METAS

What was the main impact for policy?

The work of Bühlmann et al. (2017) in cooperation with the University of Basel and the Forum Biodiversity Switzerland resulted in the change of the subsidy system of the cooperation Urseren favoring Engadine sheep in 2013. Furthermore, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) adjusted the model for calculation the indirect NO and N2O emissions from close to natural ecosystems in Switzerland (Bühlmann et al. 2015).

Continue reading The influences of N₂-fixing green alder and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on the nitrogen balance in close to natural ecosystems