The ERC Synergy Grant is a grant scheme of the European Research Council, that promotes ambitious collaboration across the boundaries of scientific fields in universities to solve complex problems. Projects funded under the scheme are headed by more than one principal investigator from different universities or research institutes.
A successful funding application presents grounds for why the proposed research cannot successfully be carried out under the direction of a single principal investigator. Project leaders must have excellent scientific qualifications, either early on in their careers or for a ten-year period.
Otso Ovaskainen’s ERC-funded project surveys global biodiversity using the latest scientific tools.
In the project, DNA and audio samples are collected by automated means, as well as images taken by trail cameras, from over 450 locations across the globe. By utilising the samples and top-of-the-line statistical analysis methods, the researchers can potentially map out as much as half of the global biodiversity of insects and fungi.
At the same time, the researchers strive to understand, among other things, the effects of climate change and changes in land use on biodiversity. In addition, entirely new statistical methods particularly suited to investigating biodiversity are being developed in the project.
Ovaskainen’s project is producing information on the world’s biodiversity on an entirely new scale. A more in-depth understanding of biodiversity and the effects of human action enables increasingly responsible decisions.
A Planetary Inventory of Life – a New Synthesis Built on Big Data Combined with Novel Statistical Methods, 2020–2025.
From 2008 to 2013, Ovaskainen carried out a project entitled Spatial Ecology: Bringing Mathematical Theory and Data Together with a Starting Grant awarded by the ERC.