Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIOCONS (European centre for biodiversity and conservation research)

The project contributed to the professional education of 23 biodiversity and conservation scientists, helping redress regional (5 eastern Europe, 7 southern Europe, 6 international and 5 NW Europe fellows) and gender (73 % of fellows were female) biases in the field. The BIOCONS project was broadly interdisciplinary, with approaches ranging from evolutionary biology, through genetics and ecology, to environmental science and ecological economics. This helped ensure a wide ranging set of supervisory expertise, and a broadly collaborative research environment.

The project pursued by the Marie Curie doctoral fellows varied greatly, ranging from monitoring and control of invasive alien species (Polce, Imhoff) through dynamics of tropical rainforests (Peh), the effects of harvesting on evolution (Zannese) to seabird (Riou) and bat (Jan) conservation. Short-visit and masters fellow project varied at least as widely, including work on the environmental implications of energy crops (Tenerelli), the economic and ecological implications of the water framework directive (Xenarios) the genetic structure of Polish red deer populations (Niedzialkowska), the dynamics of fig-wasp pollination mutualisms (Chen) and biodiversity dynamics in both hoverflies (Keil) and fossil assemblages (Stachniuk). A wide range of training opportunities were provided, ranging from the coordinated sets of modules of our Masters programme, through a wide variety of skills modules and training activities both within the university and external to it.

Taken as a whole, the BIOCONS EST programme has made a substantial contribution to training a cohort of world class researchers, who we fully hope will continue to contribute to the progress of conservation science for many years to come.

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