49 million Swedish crowns for research into sustainable development

Ten researchers at LiU have been awarded grants by the Formas research council. The projects include research into urban cultivation, the possibility of capturing carbon dioxide after emission, and the welfare of laying hens.

urban gardeners harvest greensResearchers will study urban farming areas in Linköping and Minneapolis, USA. Photo credit julief514At the end of November, the Formas research published decisions about the projects to receive research grants from ten different calls. More than SEK 1.1 billion was awarded to 316 projects for research towards an ecological, economic and socially sustainable society.

Genevieve Metson, research fellow in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM) was the researcher to receive the largest amount at LiU, for two research projects. The first, which receives nearly SEK 8 million, concerns cultivation in urban environments. Cities and other built-up areas often have a negative impact on water systems, in that, for example, excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus enter water courses and lakes. Many cities are trying to remedy this, by, for example, increasing the fraction of cultivated land in the form of agricultural areas and gardens in the urban environment.

We do not yet know the extent to which urban cultivation can contribute to reducing the seepage of nutrients into water systems, in this way increasing the efficient use of resources. The researchers will carry out three years of field studies on urban cultivation in Minneapolis in the US and in Linköping, and compare the flows of nutrients through the cultivation ecosystems. They will also investigate other advantages of urban cultivation that people experience, through workshops and interviews with various actors in the two cities. Genevieve Metson has also received nearly SEK 2 million for research into the circular economy.Genevieve Metson.Genevieve Metson.

“Both research projects focus on finding solutions for communities to move towards more sustainable food, water, and waste systems and have a special focus on Sweden. Although I work globally, I think it is essential for sustainability scientists to strive to work in the place they live and work. I have been in Sweden two years now, mostly working at the national scale, and these projects will allow me to work with and for stakeholders in Östergötland more closely and I am really looking forward to that opportunity”, says Genevieve Metson.

LiU researchers who have received grants:

Annual open call 2019 – Research and development projects
Manuel Alvarez-Rodriguez, principal research engineer in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, receives nearly SEK 3 million for the project “The immunological paradox of pregnancy and embryo mortality in pigs, where does it start?”

Niclas Solin, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives SEK 3 million for research into “Protein fibres for water purification”.

Feng Gao, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives SEK 3 million for the project “High-performance small-molecule organic solar cells processed from green solvents”.

Annual open call 2019 – Research and development projects for early-career researchers
Katherine Harrison, senior lecturer in the Department of Thematic Studies, receives SEK 3 million for the project “Sustainability means inclusivity: engaging citizens in early-stage smart city development”.

Rie Henriksen, research fellow in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives SEK 2.8 million for the project “A novel genetic approach for the identification of stress-resilient genotypes in chickens”.

Mobility grants
Lotten Wiréhn, postdoc in the Department of Thematic Studies, receives SEK 3.9 million for the project “A new generation of decision support for climate change adaptation in Swedish agriculture and forestry – Bridging the gap between climate science, adaptation research and practice”.

Visions and Conditions for a Fossil-Free Welfare Society 2019
Eva Lövbrand, senior lecturer in the Department of Thematic Studies, receives SEK 7.3 million for the project “Whose transformation? The places, politics and ethics of the fossil- free society”.

Anders Hansson, senior lecturer in the Department of Thematic Studies, receives SEK 7.5 million for the project “Opening the portfolio of negative emissions technologies: A comprehensive study of social, techno-economic and ethical dimensions of biomass-based NETs in Sweden and Tanzania”.

Sustainable living environments
Genevieve Metson, research fellow in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives nearly SEK 8 million for the project “Urban agriculture as blue-green infrastructure: Can it feed bodies and minds while protecting waterways?”

Animal protection – and animal welfare promoting measures
Per Jensen, professor of ethology in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives nearly SEK 5.7 million for research into “Welfare of laying hens in relation to early stress in large scale hatcheries”.

Circular economy for the whole society
Genevieve Metson, research fellow in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, receives nearly SEK 2 million for the project “Optimally recycling organic waste to support food and energy production in Sweden”.

Translation by George Farrants

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