Prestigious ERC Advanced Grants to three University of Helsinki researchers

The funding will be used to investigate the consequences of environmental change, inverse problems and how different generations relate to material and environmental legacies.

Anna-Liisa Laine from the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Matti Lassas from the Faculty of Science and Virpi Timonen from the Faculty of Social Sciences have each been granted a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. The five-year funding is granted by the European Research Council and the amount awarded may total up to €2.5 million.

Professor Anna-Liisa Laine’s project, The Coevolutionary Consequences of Biodiversity Change, aims to uncover the consequences of human imposed environmental change on both the ecology and evolution of species interactions.

The researchers will combine genome-level investigations with experimentation and field surveys of natural plant-microbe communities to determine whether and how these evolutionary mechanisms have been perturbed.

Methods for viral imaging

The ERC-funded project entitled Geometric Methods in Inverse Problems for Partial Differential Equations under Professor Matti Lassas investigates inverse problems. These are problems arising in medical and seismic imaging where measurements made on the exterior of a body are used to determine the properties of the inaccessible interior.

Applications of the project include accurate methods for viral imaging using electron microscopy and the medical imaging techniques based on elastic waves.

Understanding the intertwined legacies

In the Legacies project, Professor Virpi Timonen will break new ground in understanding the intertwined material and environmental legacies that pass between co-existing generations.

Material legacies – wealth and assets – transferring from one generation to the next are greater in volume than ever. At the same time, our environmental legacies are compromising the possibility of humans and other species to live and flourish.

Illuminating how environmental legacies are shaped through generational interaction will better equip us to formulate effective agendas for combating environmental degradation. It will also help to substantiate new modes of decision-making that incorporate future generations as stakeholders.

Potential for great impact

The ERC Advanced Grant is a grant scheme of the European Research Council (ERC) targeted at leading researchers to pursue groundbreaking projects with the potential for great impact.

Advanced Grants can be awarded to active researchers with track records of significant research achievements in the past 10 years. The researchers should have exceptional qualifications in terms or research leadership and management as well as research contributions.

University of Helsinki researchers have been highly successful in securing ERC grants. Nearly half of all the ERC funding granted to Finland has been for researchers working at the University of Helsinki.


Read more about ERC-funded research at the University of Helsinki.