Ecology professor secures €2.5m SoilResist ERC grant

Professor Richard Bardgett from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has been named a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant recipient. The awards aim to further some of the most daring and innovative research ideas across Europe.

Entitled 'Diversity, stability and functioning of the soil microbiome (SoilResist)', Prof Bardgett's project is for €2.5 million for five years. It aims to better understand the functional role of highly complex soil microbial communities by systematically linking changes in their structure to biogeochemical cycles under realistic global change scenarios.

By embracing technological and theoretical developments in microbial ecology, SoilResist will make a major step forward in understanding the mechanisms that underpin the resistance and resilience of these communities.

Prof Bardgett is one of 185 winners of this year's grants, with a total of €450 million being awarded for Europe's long-term frontier research. The new research projects, apart from strengthening Europe's knowledge base, will also lead to the creation of 1,800 new jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other research staff.

The funding is part of the European Union's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

I am glad to announce a new round of ERC grants that will back cutting-edge, exploratory research, set to help Europe and the world to be better equipped for what the future may hold. That's the role of blue sky research. These senior research stars will cut new ground in a broad range of fields.
Professor Mauro Ferrari, President of the ERC

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