23 January 2017

DKK 17 million to investigate island bird communities and subterranean biodiversity


Each year the VILLUM FONDEN grants a number of large amounts for young researchers at universities to accelerate their research careers. VILLUM FONDEN´s Young Investigator Programme was established in 2011 to target funds to the younger - Danish as well as foreign - research talents who often stand in the shadow of the more well-known and well-established professors. This year assistant professor Knud Andreas Jønsson and postdoc Ana Sofia Reboleira both from the Natural History Museum of Denmark has received DKK 17 million from VILLUM FONDEN for their research.

Knud Andreas Jønsson
Assistant Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark
University of Copenhagen

Project: Dispersal, differentiation and speciation in island bird communities

The bewildering diversity and distribution of life around us have puzzled scientists for centuries. This project will determine how populations of birds disperse, differentiate, speciate and adapt to form the communities we observe on Earth. Understanding the processes driving biodiversity is of crucial importance for assessing the effects of global change on the diversity of life on Earth. The grant will fund two PhD students, fieldwork, DNA sequencing and satellite transmitters.

Grant: DKK 10M

Ana Sofia Reboleira
Natural History Museum of Denmark
University of Copenhagen

Project: HiddenRisk – understanding the impact of human activities on subterranean biodiversity

The lack of light in the subterranean environment gives rise to a peculiar ecosystem composed of species with unique adaptations. This project investigates the impact of anthropogenic disturbance in subterranean ecosystems, providing the first global perspective of how human activities are affecting the largely unknown and extremely fragile subterranean biodiversity of our planet. The grant will allow the recruitment of one PhD student, one postdoc and purchasing of new equipment.

Grant: DKK 7M