Category Archives: PSC Science-Policy Fellowship

Umweltbedingte Geschlechtsumwandlung in Papaya als transdiziplinäres Forschungsprojekt

Tiago Meier

Wer kennt sie nicht, die birnenähnliche Form, die gelborange Farbe und den süssen Geschmack – alles Markenzeichen der Papayafrucht. Tiago Meier, Doktorand am Institut für Pflanzen- und Mikrobiologie in der Gruppe von Prof. Dr. Ueli Grossniklaus hat sich auf die Spuren der Papayafrucht begeben. Er ist zum Ursprung der Pflanze nach Mexico, ins Reich der Maya , gereist und ist auf Hinweise gestossen, die auf eine frühe Kultivierung der Papayapflanze deuten. Die Maya wählten Papayapflanzen mit für sie vorteilhaften Eigenschaften aus, nämlich zwitterige Pflanzen, die sich selbst befruchten können. Die Spanier verteilten die Papaya in ihrem Kolonialreich, wodurch sie zu einer wichtigen wurde. Jedoch hat das sich veränderndes Klima auf unserem Planeten auch Folgen für die Papaya. Eine durch Umwelteinflüsse verursachte Geschlechtsumwandlung von Zwittern zu Männchen führt zu Sterilität und beeinträchtigt dadurch die Papayaproduktion.

Tiago untersucht die Blütenentwicklung der Pflanze, um das Problem der Geschlechtsumwandlung besser zu verstehen und um zu möglichen Lösungen beizutragen. Bald wird hier ein Film veröffentlicht, der über seine Arbeit entstanden ist.

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Die ökologischen und ökonomischen Konsequenzen des Klimawandels in den Alpen

Maria Vorkauf, Universität Basel

Oberhalb der natürlichen Baumgrenze schreitet der Klimawandel besonders schnell voran. Wie schnell zeigen die Ergebnisse meiner Forschungsarbeit: Zwischen den Jahren 1985 und 2019 rückte das Datum der Schneeschmelze mit 2.8 Tagen pro Jahrzehnt vor und mit ungebremsten Treibhausgasemissionen wird sich dieser Prozess beschleunigen. Bis zum Ende des 21. Jahrhunderts wird die Vegetationsperiode für alpine Pflanzen rund einen Monat früher beginnen.

Welche ökonomischen Folgen hat der Klimawandel?

Aufgrund der Klimaszenarien für die Schweiz habe ich für das Skigebiet «Andermatt+Sedrun+Disentis» analysiert, wie sich die Verfügbarkeit von Schnee während des 21. Jahrhunderts verändern wird. Ein besonderer Fokus lag auf der Menge an Wasser, die das Skigebiet in Zukunft aufwenden muss, um rentabel zu bleiben.

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Wie werden sich die Skigebiete in der Schweiz in der Zukunft entwickeln?

Das Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center veranstaltete einen öffentlichen „Round Table“ am 03.02.2021. Zusammen mit Maria Vorkauf, Fellow im PSC-Mercator Doktoratsprogramm.

Aufgrund des Klimawandels ist generell mit steigenden Temperaturen, mehr Niederschlag im Winter, weniger im Sommer und weniger Neuschneetagen im Flachland und in den Alpen zu rechnen. Bei ungebremsten Emissionen wird bis zum Ende des Jahrhunderts in tieferen Lagen (unter 1800-2000 m.M) die Schneesichherheit nicht mehr gegeben sein.

Zusammenfassung der Diskussionen.

Zur Videoaufzeichnung mit Vorkauf, Maria; Abegg, Bruno; Egger, Thomas; Previsic, Boris; Hechenblaikner, Lois; Graf, Marie-Claire; Wilczek, Lena
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The Value of Species Diversity in Grasslands

By Sergei Schaub

Background

Grasslands cover a large portion of the global land area and are essential for global food security and the agricultural economy. Grasslands provide many ecosystem services in addition to forage production, such as biodiversity, pollination, carbon sequestration, and outdoor recreation. Changes in agricultural production, biodiversity loss, and climate change (and with it, for example, increased droughts) are putting increasing pressure on grasslands and grassland-based production. This increasing pressure requires farmers to make adjustments.

Farmers have several instruments at their disposal to adapt their grasslands, including the choice of (plant) species diversity. Species diversity can increase yields and grassland stability, as well as species diversity can reduce the adverse effects of weather extremes (e.g., droughts). A key challenge is to quantify these species diversity benefits for farmers economically. These realities gave rise to the central question of my dissertation: ‘What is the value of species diversity for farmers in grasslands?’

What evidence is useful for policymaking?

In my thesis1, I showed that species diversity can increase yields while it did overall not negatively affect forage quality, both in intensively managed grasslands and managed semi-natural grasslands. Thus, species diversity can increase revenues from milk production. Additionally, I found that species diversity can reduce production risk in intensively managed grasslands. These benefits of species diversity were also present under climate change conditions, i.e., increasing drought probability. Therefore, my thesis results show that species diversity can be an economically relevant production factor and that the increasing species diversity in grasslands can contribute to sustainable intensification of grassland-based production.

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CALL 4 FOR PHD APPLICATIONS – DEADLINE Jul 1, 2021

Call 4 for PhD applications within the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme «to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences»

RESPONSE DP is offering 6 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.

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.

Maintaining Plant Biodiversity in Cities

Using Urban Design for a Better Green Infrastructure in Zurich

By Kevin Vega

What evidence was useful for policymaking?

Understanding the effects of urban design on plant species composition in cities is essential to maintaining biodiversity overall, promoting urban resilience in the face of climate change, and improving life quality for a city’s residents. Functional ecosystems can benefit pollinators, reduce urban flooding, and improve air quality –all while looking aesthetically pleasing.

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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.

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.