BC3 researcher Ainhoa Magrach has been granted a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to implement her project, “GorBEEa, Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem function and biodiversity-stability relationships across spatial and organizational scales”. The project represents an ambitious research programme at the intersection of population, community, ecosystem, and conservation ecology, that will deliver an understanding of how declining biodiversity levels influence natural ecosystem dynamics. It will also offer an applied angle, through collaborations with different stakeholders to develop scientifically-informed management practices.
“This recognition represents a HUGE leap forward in my career in so many ways. It provides me with the funds necessary to pursue ideas I could have never dreamed about with other funding schemes, it gives me the FREEDOM to focus only on research during 5 years without the burden of having to consistently apply for more funding, and also represents a reinforcement of my self-confidence, something that we lack so many times in academia” (Ainhoa Magrach, Ikerbasque research fellow, BC3)
The European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants is the first call for proposals under the EU’s new R&I programme, Horizon Europe. This grant has been given to researchers to help them launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their best ideas.
Ainhoa Magrach is a community ecologist and her research places a special emphasis on the nexus between biodiversity and global change, mainly land-use change related to agricultural expansion. She uses rigorous field assessments to understand how different aspects of global change affect ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecosystem services, and how best to manage landscapes to minimize conservation losses. As such, her research has a focus on applied ecology questions but with a solid theoretical and basic research background. Her ultimate goal is to understand the effects of ecosystem degradation on ecosystem functioning and integrity while finding ways to align economic development with biodiversity conservation within human-dominated landscapes.
The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.
The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) is an international, interdisciplinary research centre for the study of climate change and has its headquarters in Bilbao. The centre’s partners include Ikerbasque, the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Ihobe, the Basque Government’s Public Environmental Management Partnership; the centre is one of the BERCs (Basque Excellence Research Centres).
María de Maeztu Excellence Unit 2023-2027 Ref. CEX2021-001201-M, funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033
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