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

Final Activity Report Summary - BIORESC (Transfer of Knowledge in Biodiversity Research and Conservation)

During 4 years of the BIORESC ToK project, MRI PAS has significantly developed its research capabilities by employing 12 Marie-Curie (MC) fellows for a total of 120 person-months (37 MER, 83 ER). Furthermore, 7 researchers from MRI PAS were trained for a total of 27 person-months at the University of Aberdeen (and delegated to specialised institutes at University of York, Leeds University, University of Edinburgh, Zoological Society of London and Sheffield Hallam University).

The most important scientific achievements of the project encompass: 33 published peer reviewed papers and chapters in scientific books, 9 published popular papers, 9 papers submitted to high-impact journals, and 13 papers in preparation; oral presentations by fellows at 4 conferences and 2 workshops, 3 posters presented at 2 conferences, and active participation of fellows in 4 scientific events organised by MRI PAS - Summer Schools in Ecology and Biodiversity (9 invited lectures and 20 field and laboratory trainings). Additionally, the project contributed to 1 PhD thesis completed, 1 habilitation in progress and 2 PhD theses in progress. (1) Research activities: Two fellows employed at MRI PAS (profs. M. Jaarola and C. Pertoldi) and one outgoing fellow (prof. J. M. Wojcik) have contributed to the development of population and conservation genetics research. The research embraced microsatellite and genomics screening of the contemporary population of European bison.

A novel approach was introduced - assessment of mitochondrial DNA utility as a marker for evolutionary and biodiversity analyses of mammal populations considering recently discovered presence of mitochondrial origin sequences in an nuclear genome of mammals. Ten fellows employed at MRI PAS (profs. M. Chappel, G. Kerley, K. Hundertmark, J. Kusak, drs. M. Hayward, D. Kuijper, J. Cromsigt, T. Cornulier, M. Huck and F. Zachos) and four outgoing (dr. K. Zub, K. Barton, I. Ruczynski and T. Borowik) worked in applications of modelling, advanced statistics, GIS, and remote sensing in ecology and ecophysiology. The innovation included new approaches to animal survival analyses, ecological modelling including elements of bioenergetics and space use, macro-ecological studies on predator-prey relationships and dynamics of natural forest, mathematical modelling in meta-analysis of long-term ecological data, behavioural studies based on photo-traps, and application of GIS to outline ecological corridors at the national and European scale.

Two outgoing researchers (dr. T. Samojlik and K. Niedzialkowski) have developed new, interdisciplinary studies in the fields of environmental history and environmental governance. (2) Transfer of Knowledge activities Transfer of knowledge activities encompassed a total of 130 teaching and training events:
89 seminars by MC fellows (incl. 9 by outgoing fellows after their return) each attended, on average, by 30 persons, including 10 early stage researchers.
18 methodological courses (including one course with 14 separate trainings).
23 seminars by foreign researchers invited to MRI PAS by MC fellows.

(3) Management Fellows employed at MRI PAS were involved into the on-going projects. The internal communication took the forms of: annual reporting and planning meetings, weekly meetings after seminars with organisational matters discussed, frequent contacts among fellows, their supervisors and other staff during joint research. After return, outgoing fellows presented seminars about the scientific aspects of their stay to ensure transfer of knowledge to other staff of MRI. Vacancies for fellows, published on websites dedicated to vacancies publication, BIORESC website, scientific journal Acta Theriologica, and sent by e-mail to the main European and world's universities, resulted in 42 eligible applications received (31% from female researchers).

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