Press releases of the University of Bonn with reference to TRA Sustainable Future

Press releases from 2021
DAAD funds two new global centers at the University of Bonn

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is funding a total of eight interdisciplinary "Global Centers" to address global challenges in a new program. The University of Bonn is involved in two of the projects: One project focusses on the future of African savannahs and the other on early detection and management of infection risks in West Africa. The funds are granted by the German Federal Foreign Office and amount to around 2.8 million euros per center until 2025.

Protection of vines from introduced diseases

Increasingly globalized trade, rising international tourism and climate change are increasing the likelihood that previously unknown harmful organisms will be introduced and carried into Germany and that heat-loving harmful organisms will be able to spread more easily. These include the disease Flavescence dorée, which is caused by bacteria (phytoplasmas) and affects grapevines, among others. A project involving researchers from the PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn has now received funding of around two million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The aim of the "PhytoMo" project is the early detection of dangerous phytoplasmoses. The Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner presented the researchers with the funding notification this week via video conference.

How plants respond to environmental stress

What effects does environmentally induced "stress" have on crops, and how can these effects be predicted? Biologist Prof. Dr. Amy Marshall-Colon is working on this question at the University of Illinois in the US - and soon also as a guest professor at the Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” at the University of Bonn. For the cooperation with her colleagues and the planned research stay in Bonn, she now receives a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, endowed with 45,000 Euros. To conduct her research, Amy Marshall-Colon will be in Bonn from May 15 to August 15, 2022.

New UNESCO Chair at the University of Bonn

Together with the University of Bonn, UNESCO has established the UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems. It will be held by the geographer Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers. This means that Germany is now home to 14 UNESCO Chairs that contribute to the implementation of the Global Sustainability Agenda.

Bioplastics in the sustainability dilemma

Bioplastics in the sustainability dilemma

Press releases from 2020
Robotics and agriculture in the focus of young researchers

Another milestone for the Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” at the University of Bonn and the agricultural research community: Together with two of the leading universities of the world, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Lincoln University in the UK, PhenoRob will host the International Summer School “Agricultural Robotics” at the University of Bonn from August 23-27, 2021. The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) provides 25,000 euros in funding for the Summer School.

Research Unit on robotics goes into the next round

The German Research Foundation extends the Research Unit 2535 "Anticipating Human Behavior" for three more years. Since 2017, scientists in the group have been investigating how artificial intelligence recognizes and anticipates human behavior. On the one hand, the researchers develop techniques to analyze complex interactions between humans and robots, and on the other hand, technologies for service robots. Due to demographic change, the importance of such robots is steadily increasing.

Decision strengthens Bonn as a center of excellence

The Council of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has decided today that Bonn will be a new location for the European authority from 2021. This is a forward-looking decision for the University of Bonn and its partners in the region.

Saving the climate from the ground up

Soil has the capacity to bind large quantities of carbon in the long term. An international team of researchers, including from the University of Bonn, is now advocating effective use of this potential. Experts estimate that this could reduce the increase of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a third. At the same time, agricultural yields in many regions would also increase significantly. In a recent publication they present a strategy to achieve these goals. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production

The International Conference on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production (DigiCrop2020), which is running from November 1-10, 2020 fully online and free of charge, is the new flagship conference of the German Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” at the University of Bonn. The topic of the innovative conference could not have been any more pressing: Climate change is impacting crop production and at the same time we need to substantially increase the production of biomass within the next decades. How to do this in a sustainable manner is a challenge that not only the over 100 members of “PhenoRob” are working on but also the 50 presenters and six keynote speakers at DigiCrop.

Together we see more

The University of Bonn, the University of Cologne and Forschungszentrum Jülich have founded a joint Center for Earth System Observation and Computational Analysis (CESOC). This creates a high-profile international focal point in the Rhineland for global Earth system observation with the aim of making strides toward a comprehensive understanding of our planet and better predicting changes.

Flood risks: More accurate data due to Covid-19

Emerging use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) makes it possible to continuously measure shallow changes in elevation of Earth surface. A study by the University of Bonn now shows that the quality of these measurements may have improved significantly during the pandemic, at least at some stations. The results show which factors should be considered in the future when installing GPS antennas. More precise geodetic data are important for assessing flood risks and for improving earthquake early warning systems. The journal "Geophysical Research Letters" now reports on this.

How can potato plants adapt to heat and drought?

Plant biologist Prof. Dr. Ute Vothknecht from the University of Bonn is a partner in the new EU "ADAPT" project to investigate the adaptation mechanisms of potato plants to heat and drought.

Mysterious climate change

New research findings underline the crucial role that sea ice throughout the Southern Ocean played for atmospheric CO2 in times of rapid climate change in the past. An international team of scientists with the participation of the University of Bonn has shown that the seasonal growth and destruction of sea ice in a warming world increases the biological productivity of the seas around Antarctica by extracting carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the deep ocean. This process helps to explain a long-standing question about an apparent 1,900-year pause in CO2 growth during a period known as the Antarctic cold reversal. The research results have now been published in "Nature Geoscience".

Global trade in soy has major implications for the climate

The extent to which Brazilian soy production and trade contribute to climate change depends largely on the location where soybeans are grown. This is shown by a recent study conducted by the University of Bonn together with partners from Spain, Belgium and Sweden. In some municipalities, CO2 emissions resulting from the export of soybean and derivatives are more than 200 times higher than in others. Between 2010 and 2015, the EU imported soy primarily from locations where large forest and savannah areas had previously been converted into agricultural land. The analysis is published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

Joachim von Braun to chair the Scientific Group for the UN Food System Summit

UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamed has invited Professor Joachim von Braun, Director of Center for Development Research of University of Bonn (ZEF) to chair the Scientific Group for the Food System Summit of the UN Secretary General, which shall be held in 2021.

Environmental policy often has undesirable side effects

"Good intentions" do not generally produce "good results". This wisdom also applies to establishing coherent environmental policies. Without proper oversight and planning, environmental policies can lead to unintended and harmful side effects. A current special issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters is devoted to this urgent problem. The guest editors are researchers from the University of Bonn and international partners.

University of Bonn and German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) recruit knowledge sociologist Anna-Katharina Hornidge

Professor Anna-Katharina Hornidge has accepted the Professorship of Global Sustainable Development at the University of Bonn and has been appointed Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). She will take up these positions on 1 March 2020.

Climate change affects soil health

Climate change is affecting the health of agricultural soils. Increased heat and drought make life easy for the pathogenic fungus Pythium ultimum. As an international team of researchers led by the Universities of Kassel and Bonn has shown, the fungus causes almost total crop failure in peas after a hot and dry stress event. Short-term soil recovery seems to be possible only in exceptional cases. The study has now been published in the journal "Applied Soil Ecology".

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