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The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
27 Projects, page 1 of 3

  • Canada
  • 2021-2021
  • 2017

10
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P031277/1
    Funder Contribution: 692,318 GBP
    Partners: CNRC, University of Liverpool, DLR

    The vision for this research is to develop a novel toolset for flight simulation fidelity enhancement. This represents a step-change in simulator qualification, is well-timed making a significant contribution to the UoL initiated NATO STO AVT-296-RTG activity and will have an immediate impact through engagement with Industry partners. High fidelity modelling and simulation are prerequisites for ensuring confidence in decision making during aircraft design and development, including performance and handling qualities estimation, control law development, aircraft dynamic loads analysis, and the creation of a realistic piloted simulation environment. The ability to evaluate/optimise concepts with high confidence and stimulate realistic pilot behaviour are the kernels of quality flight simulation, in which pilots can train to operate aircraft proficiently and safely and industry can design with lower risk. Regulatory standards such as CS-FSTD(H) and FAA AC120-63 describe the certification criteria and procedures for rotorcraft flight training simulators. These documents detail the component fidelity required to achieve "fitness for purpose", with criteria based on "tolerances", defined as acceptable differences between simulation and flight, typically +/- 10% for the flight model. However, these have not been updated for several decades, while on the military side, the related practices in NATO nations are not harmonised and have often been developed for specific applications. Methods to update the models for improved fidelity are mostly ad-hoc and, without a strong scientific foundation, are often not physics-based. This research will provide a framework for such harmonisation removing the barriers to adopting physics-based flight modelling and will create new, more informed, standards. In this research two aspects of fidelity will be tackled, predictive fidelity (the metrics and tolerances in the standards) and perceptual fidelity (pilot opinion). The predictive fidelity aspect of the research will use System Identification techniques to provide a systematic framework for 'enhancing' a physics-based simulation model. The perceptual fidelity research will develop a rational, novel process for task-specific motion tuning together with a robust methodology for capturing pilots' subjective assessment of the overall fidelity of a simulator. Extensive use will be made of flight simulation and real-world flight tests throughout this project in both the predictive and perceptual fidelity research.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/P02582X/1
    Funder Contribution: 30,612 GBP
    Partners: SFU, MUN, UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA, University of Aberdeen

    Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 773421
    Overall Budget: 11,467,300 EURFunder Contribution: 11,467,300 EUR
    Partners: Université Laval, MPG, UPMC, IGOT UL, NORDREGIO, UH, VUA, University of Oulu, UVSQ, ACRI-HE...

    Most human activity in the Arctic takes place along permafrost coasts, making them a key interface. They have become one of the most dynamic ecosystems on Earth because permafrost thaw is now exposing these coasts to rapid change: change that threatens the rich biodiversity, puts pressure on communities that live there and contributes to the vulnerability of the global climate system. NUNATARYUK will determine the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and will develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population. NUNATARYUK brings together world-leading specialists in natural science and socio-economics to: (1) develop quantitative understanding of the fluxes and fates of organic matter released from thawing coastal and subsea permafrost; (2) assess what risks are posed by thawing coastal permafrost, to infrastructure, indigenous and local communities and people’s health, and from pollution; (3) use this understanding to estimate the long-term impacts of permafrost thaw on global climate and the economy. NUNATARYUK will be guided by a Stakeholders’ Forum of representatives from Arctic coastal communities and indigenous societies, creating a legacy of collaborative community involvement and a mechanism for developing and applying innovative evidence-based interventions to enable the sustainable development of the Arctic.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P013090/1
    Funder Contribution: 419,180 GBP
    Partners: LU, FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Western Australian Museum, RAS, Natural History Museum, The Hunterian, SIA, Swedish Museum of Natural History, University of Bristol, University of Ottawa...

    Our proposal brings together world class expertise and cutting-edge methods to answer a key question in the history of life: how did vertebrates conquer the land? We address this question by testing four key hypotheses derived from long-standing assertions that selection acted upon the skull to drive adaptations for improved terrestrial feeding during the water to land transition. Our methods offer a means to shift away from analogy-driven assertions of evolutionary history towards rigorous testable hypotheses founded upon mechanical principles, and will set a benchmark for future studies in evolutionary biomechanics. For the first 200 million years of their history, vertebrates lived an aquatic existence. Between 385 and 350 million years ago they evolved a host of anatomical features that ultimately enabled vertebrates to conquer land. This reorganization of the vertebrate skeleton created the basic tetrapod body plan of a consolidated head with mobile neck, arms and legs with digits and air breathing lungs. This plan has persisted, subject to modification, ever since and is shared by all terrestrial vertebrates. It was proposed over 50 years ago that tetrapods modified their skull bones and jaw muscles to create a stronger and 'more efficient' structure, capable of forceful biting for feeding on land. This reorganization is seen as key to their subsequent radiations, enabling tetrapods to expand into new ecological niches by feeding on terrestrial plants, large prey and hard or tough food. It has been proposed that these modifications came at the cost of reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and a slower bite, and could only be achieved by the loss of suction feeding and the evolution of rib-based breathing, thus freeing the skull from its roles in aquatic locomotion, drawing prey into the mouth and pumping air into the lungs. These ideas have been perpetuated in textbooks for decades, yet are based on out-dated simple line drawings of skulls and jaw closing muscles, and remain to be tested. We now have a rich and informative fossil record that documents changes in skull shape across the water to land transition. However, until now, we have lacked the means to test these hypotheses in a quantitative, rigorous way. In this proposal we will determine how changes in skull form and function enabled vertebrates to feed in a terrestrial environment and document the sequence of evolutionary changes and trade-offs that lead to their conquering of land. We will integrate principles from palaeontology and biology to reconstruct skull anatomy in 14 fossil tetrapods. Mathematical and mechanical principles will then be used to test the hypothesis that changes to skull anatomy resulted in tetrapod skulls evolving from hydrodynamically streamlined broad, flat skulls that could deliver a rapid (but weak) bite to strongly built skulls that could produce a more effective, forceful bite. New evolutionary modelling methods will assess how selection for skull strength or hydrodynamic efficiency shaped the evolution of the tetrapod skull. Our project will produce methodological advances that can be applied more broadly to evolutionary transitions and radiations, and to address long standing questions linking form and function. Palaeontologists, anatomists, biomechanists, evolutionary and developmental biologists and engineers will benefit from this work, which will establish new international collaborations. Its visual aspect and focus on early tetrapods will appeal to the general public, offering engagement opportunities and generating media interest. Members of our team are leaders in developing and validating methods for reconstructing and simulating the musculoskeletal anatomy and function of fossil organisms and have been involved in developing new methods for modelling how function has shaped form in deep time. The time is therefore ripe to apply our knowledge and skills to one of the key events in the history of life and our ow

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 755477
    Overall Budget: 1,940,340 EURFunder Contribution: 930,366 EUR
    Partners: SCIOTEQ, CMC ELECTRONICS INC.

    NAFTI will entirely cover the topic description. NAFTI will develop, test and qualify, up to safe for flight status, a FMS supporting complex noise abatement trajectories The entire FMS will comply with the safety requirements for HAZARDOUS failure conditions in a CS-29 certification context. NAFTI will make following advancements starting from Clean Sky 1 results owned by Airbus Helicopters: - From conventional to compound rotorcraft. - From manually flown to automatically flown complex trajectories. The FMS will be a CMC CMA-9000 which is currently used in the targeted avionics suites. The project will be done by ScioTeq, located in Kortrijk (Belgium, EU) in collaboration with CMC Electronics, located in Montreal (Canada). The activities in Montreal will not require any form of EU funding. This collaboration brings together cutting edge touch enabled display expertise from ScioTeq and top notch FMS expertise from CMC. Additionally, the two locations give access to complementary markets for future exploitation of the results. NAFTI will reduce weight, power and cost at helicopter level. This will result in lower cost of ownership, lower environmental footprint and better rotorcraft performance. This improves competitiveness for the helicopter manufacturer. The exploitation of the FMS will rely on production activities in Belgium using a supply chain with a large share in Europe.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P006493/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,106 GBP
    Partners: Aquaplan-niva, UoC, OSU, HGF, UQAR, University of Tromsø, Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich, University of Leeds, Alfred Wegener Inst for Polar & Marine R...

    ChAOS will quantify the effect of changing sea ice cover on organic matter quality, benthic biodiversity, biological transformations of carbon and nutrient pools, and resulting ecosystem function at the Arctic Ocean seafloor. We will achieve this by determining the amount, source, and bioavailability of organic matter (OM) and associated nutrients exported to the Arctic seafloor; its consumption, transformation, and cycling through the benthic food chain; and its eventual burial or recycling back into the water column. We will study these coupled biological and biogeochemical processes by combining (i) a detailed study of representative Arctic shelf sea habitats that intersect the ice edge, with (ii) broad-scale in situ validation studies and shipboard experiments, (iii) manipulative laboratory experiments that will identify causal relationships and mechanisms, (iv) analyses of highly spatially and temporally resolved data obtained by the Canadian, Norwegian and German Arctic programmes to establish generality, and (v) we will integrate new understanding of controls and effects on biodiversity, biogeochemical pathways and nutrient cycles into modelling approaches to explore how changes in Arctic sea ice alter ecosystems at regional scales. We will focus on parts of the Arctic Ocean where drastic changes in sea ice cover are the main environmental control, e.g., the Barents Sea. Common fieldwork campaigns will form the core of our research activity. Although our preferred focal region is a N-S transect along 30 degree East in the Barents Sea where ice expansion and retreat are well known and safely accessible, we will also use additional cruises to locations that share similar sediment and water conditions in Norway, retrieving key species for extended laboratory experiments that consider future environmental forcing. Importantly, the design of our campaign is not site specific, allowing our approach to be applied in other areas that share similar regional characteristics. This flexibility maximizes the scope for coordinated activities between all programme consortia (pelagic or benthic) should other areas of the Arctic shelf be preferable once all responses to the Announcement of Opportunity have been evaluated. In support of our field campaign, and informed by the analysis of field samples and data obtained by our international partners (in Norway, Canada, USA, Italy, Poland and Germany), we will conduct a range of well-constrained laboratory experiments, exposing incubated natural sediment to environmental conditions that are most likely to vary in response to the changing sea ice cover, and analysing the response of biology and biogeochemistry to these induced changes in present versus future environments (e.g., ocean acidification, warming). We will use existing complementary data sets provided by international project partners to achieve a wider spatial and temporal coverage of different parts of the Arctic Ocean. The unique combination of expertise (microbiologists, geochemists, ecologists, modellers) and facilities across eight leading UK research institutions will allow us to make new links between the quantity and quality of exported OM as a food source for benthic ecosystems, the response of the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across the full spectrum of benthic organisms, and the effects on the partitioning of carbon and nutrients between recycled and buried pools. To link the benthic sub-system to the Arctic Ocean as a whole, we will establish close links with complementary projects studying biogeochemical processes in the water column, benthic environment (and their interactions) and across the land-ocean transition. This will provide the combined data sets and process understanding, as well as novel, numerically efficient upscaling tools, required to develop predictive models (e.g., MEDUSA) that allow for a quantitative inclusion seafloor into environmental predictions of the changing Arctic Ocean.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P002099/1
    Funder Contribution: 580,838 GBP
    Partners: UBA, EnviroSim (Canada), University of Oxford, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, JBA Trust, University of Pennsylvania, KNMI, CSIR - South Africa, Lab of Climate and Environment LSCE

    The role of external drivers of climate change in mid-latitude weather events, particularly that of human influence on climate, arouses intense scientific, policy and public interest. In February 2014, the UK Prime Minister stated he "suspected a link" between the flooding at the time and anthropogenic climate change, but the scientific community was, and remains, frustratingly unable to provide a more quantitative assessment. Quantifying the role of climate change in extreme weather events has financial significance as well: at present, impact-relevant climate change will be primarily felt through changes in extreme events. While slow-onset processes can exacerbate (or ameliorate) the impact of individual weather events, any change in the probability of occurrence of these events themselves could overwhelm this effect. While this is known to be a problem, very little is known about the magnitude of such changes in occurrence probabilities, an important knowledge gap this project aims to address. The 2015 Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC has given renewed urgency to understanding relatively subtle changes in extreme weather through its call for research into the impacts of a 1.5oC versus 2oC increase in global temperatures, to contribute to an IPCC Special Report in 2018. Few, if any, mid-latitude weather events can be unambiguously attributed to external climate drivers in the sense that these events would not have happened at all without those drivers. Hence any comprehensive assessment of the cost of anthropogenic climate change and different levels of warming in the future must quantify the impact of changing risks of extreme weather, including subtle changes in the risks of relatively 'ordinary' events. The potential, and significance, of human influence on climate affecting the occupancy of the dynamical regimes that give rise to extreme weather in mid-latitudes has long been noted, but only recently have the first tentative reports of an attributable change in regime occupancy begun to emerge. A recent example is the 2014 floods in the Southern UK, which are thought to have occurred not because of individually heavy downpours, but because of a more persistent jet. Quantifying such changes presents a challenge because high atmospheric resolution is required for realistic simulation of the processes that give rise to weather regimes, while large ensembles are required to quantify subtle but potentially important changes in regime occupancy statistics and event frequency. Under this project we propose, for the first time, to apply a well-established large-ensemble methodology that allows explicit simulation of changing event probabilities to a global seasonal-forecast-resolution model. We aim to answer the following question: over Europe, does the dynamical response to human influence on climate, manifest through changing occupancy of circulation regimes and event frequency, exacerbate or counteract the thermodynamic response, which is primarily manifest through increased available moisture and energy in individual events? Our focus is on comparing present-day conditions with the counterfactual "world that might have been" without human influence on climate, and comparing 1.5 degree and 2 degree future scenarios. While higher forcing provides higher signal-to-noise, interpretation is complicated by changing drivers and the potential for a non-linear response. We compensate for a lower signal with unprecedentedly large ensembles. Event attribution has been recognised by the WCRP as a key component of any comprehensive package of climate services. NERC science has been instrumental in its development so far: this project will provide a long-overdue integration of attribution research into the broader agenda of understanding the dynamics of mid-latitude weather.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/R001324/1
    Funder Contribution: 253,939 GBP
    Partners: Utrecht University, UBC, Boston College, University of Sheffield, UWEC

    In establishing the theory of evolution Charles Darwin realized that life originated only once and over billions of years diversified, through evolution, into the bewildering diversity of life on Earth today. Since this monumental paradigm shift a major goal of biology has been to establish the 'true tree of life' in terms of evolutionary relationships of the different types of organism and timing of their divergence. The most problematic and least understood regions of the tree of life are its deep roots: the origin of life and its early diversification. This is because these events occurred billions of years ago in the deep past and: (i) the primary divergence into the three domains of life (bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes) involved a complicated combining of organisms in 'endosymbiotic events'; (ii) the organisms involved are unfamiliar because modern relatives, if any, have changed dramatically through time; (iii) the fossil record is poor in rocks from such ancient times; (iv) techniques such as molecular clock analyses become unreliable the further back in time one investigates. The euglenids are a bizarre group of single-celled organisms common on the planet today. They inhabit freshwater environments where they move through the water using a unique motion called 'peristaltic movement'. Intriguingly, they either feed by ingesting matter (like animals) or through harvesting the Sun's energy (like plants). It is believed that they can do the latter because they combined with a photosynthetic unicellular green algae during a 'secondary endosymbiotic event'. Euglenoids are familiar to many of us as they are routinely examined in elementary laboratory classes, to familiarise students with the basic features of single-celled eukaryotes and the fact that some display characteristics of both animals and plants. Euglenids are particularly fascinating because studies of their anatomy and genome suggest they are among the most primitive of the earliest eukaryote organisms (that is organisms that have a true cell and evolved through the combination of more basic organisms (bacteria and archaea) that lack a true cell). Unfortunately euglenids lack a recognisable fossil record so we know little regarding their origin and evolutionary history. In order to remedy this major problem we have trawled the literature and discovered a number of fossils that have euglenid-like characters. Our insight is that we have discovered a way of recognising whether a fossil does indeed represent a true euglenid. Modern euglenids have a unique cell wall structure, and by taking extremely thin sections of their cell walls (less that 1/10,000 mm in thickness) and examining them under a powerful Transmission Electron Microscope, it is possible to identify this unique structure. We have undertaken preliminary studies on potential fossil euglenids and demonstrated that we can observe such structure in the fossils and hence prove that they are indeed euglenids. Some of the euglenid-like fossils are a staggering 1 billion years old. Our proposal is to analyse potential euglenid fossils from throughout the geological column and, by demonstrating which possess the characteristic euglenid wall structure, provide a continuous fossil record for the euglenids. This will place euglenids as one of the few groups of early divergent eukaryotes with a deep fossil record (and the first of the SuperGroup Excavates). This is important because it will provide evidence for the timing and nature of the diversification of the earliest eukaryotes. It will also provide an important fossil calibration point for molecular biologists that undertake molecular clock studies. Furthermore, we are addressing a highly topical research area and our findings will fuel current controversies concerning whether the eukaryotes evolved in the ocean or in fresh water and how and when euglenids acquired their secondary endosymbiotic green alga.

  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 5U01AA026101-02
    Funder Contribution: 178,999 USD
    Partners: UBC
  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 741874
    Overall Budget: 13,554,100 EURFunder Contribution: 3,768,310 EUR
    Partners: CIHR, ETAg, STATE RESEARCH AGENCY OF SPAIN, MINISTRY OF INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, CNRS, CRSNG, CAJA DE AHORROS Y PENSIONES DE BARCELONA LA CAIXA, Ministero della Salute, VETENSKAPSRADET - SWEDISH RESEARCH COUNCIL, ANR...

    Despite efforts to reduce fragmentation across the European Research Area, the European scientific system is still facing challenges in achieving gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research and innovation. In this context, and in line with ERA policy goals and national contexts, the GENDER-NET Plus ERA-NET Cofund aims to strengthen transnational collaborations between research programme owners and managers, provide support to the promotion of gender equality through institutional change and instigate the integration of sex and gender analysis into research and funding programmes. To do so, project partners – a consortium of 16 committed organisations – will join forces to 1) Implement a joint co-funded call for proposals, 2) Design and implement transnational actions on the promotion of gender equality through institutional change and the integration of sex and gender analysis into research, 3) Update and enlarge the mappings and analyses carried out in GENDER-NET on the promotion of gender equality in research and innovation, 4) Carry out a joint assessment of gender differences and bias in access to research grants and define and develop appropriate conditions for promoting equal opportunities in research funding, 5) Promote and disseminate key findings. GENDER-NET will address these goals through 7 work packages and relies on a strong transnational cooperation between partner EU Member States, Associated Countries, and Third Countries, to contribute to the advancement of gender equality in the ERA.

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The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
27 Projects, page 1 of 3
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P031277/1
    Funder Contribution: 692,318 GBP
    Partners: CNRC, University of Liverpool, DLR

    The vision for this research is to develop a novel toolset for flight simulation fidelity enhancement. This represents a step-change in simulator qualification, is well-timed making a significant contribution to the UoL initiated NATO STO AVT-296-RTG activity and will have an immediate impact through engagement with Industry partners. High fidelity modelling and simulation are prerequisites for ensuring confidence in decision making during aircraft design and development, including performance and handling qualities estimation, control law development, aircraft dynamic loads analysis, and the creation of a realistic piloted simulation environment. The ability to evaluate/optimise concepts with high confidence and stimulate realistic pilot behaviour are the kernels of quality flight simulation, in which pilots can train to operate aircraft proficiently and safely and industry can design with lower risk. Regulatory standards such as CS-FSTD(H) and FAA AC120-63 describe the certification criteria and procedures for rotorcraft flight training simulators. These documents detail the component fidelity required to achieve "fitness for purpose", with criteria based on "tolerances", defined as acceptable differences between simulation and flight, typically +/- 10% for the flight model. However, these have not been updated for several decades, while on the military side, the related practices in NATO nations are not harmonised and have often been developed for specific applications. Methods to update the models for improved fidelity are mostly ad-hoc and, without a strong scientific foundation, are often not physics-based. This research will provide a framework for such harmonisation removing the barriers to adopting physics-based flight modelling and will create new, more informed, standards. In this research two aspects of fidelity will be tackled, predictive fidelity (the metrics and tolerances in the standards) and perceptual fidelity (pilot opinion). The predictive fidelity aspect of the research will use System Identification techniques to provide a systematic framework for 'enhancing' a physics-based simulation model. The perceptual fidelity research will develop a rational, novel process for task-specific motion tuning together with a robust methodology for capturing pilots' subjective assessment of the overall fidelity of a simulator. Extensive use will be made of flight simulation and real-world flight tests throughout this project in both the predictive and perceptual fidelity research.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/P02582X/1
    Funder Contribution: 30,612 GBP
    Partners: SFU, MUN, UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA, University of Aberdeen

    Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 773421
    Overall Budget: 11,467,300 EURFunder Contribution: 11,467,300 EUR
    Partners: Université Laval, MPG, UPMC, IGOT UL, NORDREGIO, UH, VUA, University of Oulu, UVSQ, ACRI-HE...

    Most human activity in the Arctic takes place along permafrost coasts, making them a key interface. They have become one of the most dynamic ecosystems on Earth because permafrost thaw is now exposing these coasts to rapid change: change that threatens the rich biodiversity, puts pressure on communities that live there and contributes to the vulnerability of the global climate system. NUNATARYUK will determine the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and will develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population. NUNATARYUK brings together world-leading specialists in natural science and socio-economics to: (1) develop quantitative understanding of the fluxes and fates of organic matter released from thawing coastal and subsea permafrost; (2) assess what risks are posed by thawing coastal permafrost, to infrastructure, indigenous and local communities and people’s health, and from pollution; (3) use this understanding to estimate the long-term impacts of permafrost thaw on global climate and the economy. NUNATARYUK will be guided by a Stakeholders’ Forum of representatives from Arctic coastal communities and indigenous societies, creating a legacy of collaborative community involvement and a mechanism for developing and applying innovative evidence-based interventions to enable the sustainable development of the Arctic.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P013090/1
    Funder Contribution: 419,180 GBP
    Partners: LU, FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Western Australian Museum, RAS, Natural History Museum, The Hunterian, SIA, Swedish Museum of Natural History, University of Bristol, University of Ottawa...

    Our proposal brings together world class expertise and cutting-edge methods to answer a key question in the history of life: how did vertebrates conquer the land? We address this question by testing four key hypotheses derived from long-standing assertions that selection acted upon the skull to drive adaptations for improved terrestrial feeding during the water to land transition. Our methods offer a means to shift away from analogy-driven assertions of evolutionary history towards rigorous testable hypotheses founded upon mechanical principles, and will set a benchmark for future studies in evolutionary biomechanics. For the first 200 million years of their history, vertebrates lived an aquatic existence. Between 385 and 350 million years ago they evolved a host of anatomical features that ultimately enabled vertebrates to conquer land. This reorganization of the vertebrate skeleton created the basic tetrapod body plan of a consolidated head with mobile neck, arms and legs with digits and air breathing lungs. This plan has persisted, subject to modification, ever since and is shared by all terrestrial vertebrates. It was proposed over 50 years ago that tetrapods modified their skull bones and jaw muscles to create a stronger and 'more efficient' structure, capable of forceful biting for feeding on land. This reorganization is seen as key to their subsequent radiations, enabling tetrapods to expand into new ecological niches by feeding on terrestrial plants, large prey and hard or tough food. It has been proposed that these modifications came at the cost of reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and a slower bite, and could only be achieved by the loss of suction feeding and the evolution of rib-based breathing, thus freeing the skull from its roles in aquatic locomotion, drawing prey into the mouth and pumping air into the lungs. These ideas have been perpetuated in textbooks for decades, yet are based on out-dated simple line drawings of skulls and jaw closing muscles, and remain to be tested. We now have a rich and informative fossil record that documents changes in skull shape across the water to land transition. However, until now, we have lacked the means to test these hypotheses in a quantitative, rigorous way. In this proposal we will determine how changes in skull form and function enabled vertebrates to feed in a terrestrial environment and document the sequence of evolutionary changes and trade-offs that lead to their conquering of land. We will integrate principles from palaeontology and biology to reconstruct skull anatomy in 14 fossil tetrapods. Mathematical and mechanical principles will then be used to test the hypothesis that changes to skull anatomy resulted in tetrapod skulls evolving from hydrodynamically streamlined broad, flat skulls that could deliver a rapid (but weak) bite to strongly built skulls that could produce a more effective, forceful bite. New evolutionary modelling methods will assess how selection for skull strength or hydrodynamic efficiency shaped the evolution of the tetrapod skull. Our project will produce methodological advances that can be applied more broadly to evolutionary transitions and radiations, and to address long standing questions linking form and function. Palaeontologists, anatomists, biomechanists, evolutionary and developmental biologists and engineers will benefit from this work, which will establish new international collaborations. Its visual aspect and focus on early tetrapods will appeal to the general public, offering engagement opportunities and generating media interest. Members of our team are leaders in developing and validating methods for reconstructing and simulating the musculoskeletal anatomy and function of fossil organisms and have been involved in developing new methods for modelling how function has shaped form in deep time. The time is therefore ripe to apply our knowledge and skills to one of the key events in the history of life and our ow

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 755477
    Overall Budget: 1,940,340 EURFunder Contribution: 930,366 EUR
    Partners: SCIOTEQ, CMC ELECTRONICS INC.

    NAFTI will entirely cover the topic description. NAFTI will develop, test and qualify, up to safe for flight status, a FMS supporting complex noise abatement trajectories The entire FMS will comply with the safety requirements for HAZARDOUS failure conditions in a CS-29 certification context. NAFTI will make following advancements starting from Clean Sky 1 results owned by Airbus Helicopters: - From conventional to compound rotorcraft. - From manually flown to automatically flown complex trajectories. The FMS will be a CMC CMA-9000 which is currently used in the targeted avionics suites. The project will be done by ScioTeq, located in Kortrijk (Belgium, EU) in collaboration with CMC Electronics, located in Montreal (Canada). The activities in Montreal will not require any form of EU funding. This collaboration brings together cutting edge touch enabled display expertise from ScioTeq and top notch FMS expertise from CMC. Additionally, the two locations give access to complementary markets for future exploitation of the results. NAFTI will reduce weight, power and cost at helicopter level. This will result in lower cost of ownership, lower environmental footprint and better rotorcraft performance. This improves competitiveness for the helicopter manufacturer. The exploitation of the FMS will rely on production activities in Belgium using a supply chain with a large share in Europe.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P006493/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,106 GBP
    Partners: Aquaplan-niva, UoC, OSU, HGF, UQAR, University of Tromsø, Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich, University of Leeds, Alfred Wegener Inst for Polar & Marine R...

    ChAOS will quantify the effect of changing sea ice cover on organic matter quality, benthic biodiversity, biological transformations of carbon and nutrient pools, and resulting ecosystem function at the Arctic Ocean seafloor. We will achieve this by determining the amount, source, and bioavailability of organic matter (OM) and associated nutrients exported to the Arctic seafloor; its consumption, transformation, and cycling through the benthic food chain; and its eventual burial or recycling back into the water column. We will study these coupled biological and biogeochemical processes by combining (i) a detailed study of representative Arctic shelf sea habitats that intersect the ice edge, with (ii) broad-scale in situ validation studies and shipboard experiments, (iii) manipulative laboratory experiments that will identify causal relationships and mechanisms, (iv) analyses of highly spatially and temporally resolved data obtained by the Canadian, Norwegian and German Arctic programmes to establish generality, and (v) we will integrate new understanding of controls and effects on biodiversity, biogeochemical pathways and nutrient cycles into modelling approaches to explore how changes in Arctic sea ice alter ecosystems at regional scales. We will focus on parts of the Arctic Ocean where drastic changes in sea ice cover are the main environmental control, e.g., the Barents Sea. Common fieldwork campaigns will form the core of our research activity. Although our preferred focal region is a N-S transect along 30 degree East in the Barents Sea where ice expansion and retreat are well known and safely accessible, we will also use additional cruises to locations that share similar sediment and water conditions in Norway, retrieving key species for extended laboratory experiments that consider future environmental forcing. Importantly, the design of our campaign is not site specific, allowing our approach to be applied in other areas that share similar regional characteristics. This flexibility maximizes the scope for coordinated activities between all programme consortia (pelagic or benthic) should other areas of the Arctic shelf be preferable once all responses to the Announcement of Opportunity have been evaluated. In support of our field campaign, and informed by the analysis of field samples and data obtained by our international partners (in Norway, Canada, USA, Italy, Poland and Germany), we will conduct a range of well-constrained laboratory experiments, exposing incubated natural sediment to environmental conditions that are most likely to vary in response to the changing sea ice cover, and analysing the response of biology and biogeochemistry to these induced changes in present versus future environments (e.g., ocean acidification, warming). We will use existing complementary data sets provided by international project partners to achieve a wider spatial and temporal coverage of different parts of the Arctic Ocean. The unique combination of expertise (microbiologists, geochemists, ecologists, modellers) and facilities across eight leading UK research institutions will allow us to make new links between the quantity and quality of exported OM as a food source for benthic ecosystems, the response of the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across the full spectrum of benthic organisms, and the effects on the partitioning of carbon and nutrients between recycled and buried pools. To link the benthic sub-system to the Arctic Ocean as a whole, we will establish close links with complementary projects studying biogeochemical processes in the water column, benthic environment (and their interactions) and across the land-ocean transition. This will provide the combined data sets and process understanding, as well as novel, numerically efficient upscaling tools, required to develop predictive models (e.g., MEDUSA) that allow for a quantitative inclusion seafloor into environmental predictions of the changing Arctic Ocean.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P002099/1
    Funder Contribution: 580,838 GBP
    Partners: UBA, EnviroSim (Canada), University of Oxford, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, JBA Trust, University of Pennsylvania, KNMI, CSIR - South Africa, Lab of Climate and Environment LSCE

    The role of external drivers of climate change in mid-latitude weather events, particularly that of human influence on climate, arouses intense scientific, policy and public interest. In February 2014, the UK Prime Minister stated he "suspected a link" between the flooding at the time and anthropogenic climate change, but the scientific community was, and remains, frustratingly unable to provide a more quantitative assessment. Quantifying the role of climate change in extreme weather events has financial significance as well: at present, impact-relevant climate change will be primarily felt through changes in extreme events. While slow-onset processes can exacerbate (or ameliorate) the impact of individual weather events, any change in the probability of occurrence of these events themselves could overwhelm this effect. While this is known to be a problem, very little is known about the magnitude of such changes in occurrence probabilities, an important knowledge gap this project aims to address. The 2015 Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC has given renewed urgency to understanding relatively subtle changes in extreme weather through its call for research into the impacts of a 1.5oC versus 2oC increase in global temperatures, to contribute to an IPCC Special Report in 2018. Few, if any, mid-latitude weather events can be unambiguously attributed to external climate drivers in the sense that these events would not have happened at all without those drivers. Hence any comprehensive assessment of the cost of anthropogenic climate change and different levels of warming in the future must quantify the impact of changing risks of extreme weather, including subtle changes in the risks of relatively 'ordinary' events. The potential, and significance, of human influence on climate affecting the occupancy of the dynamical regimes that give rise to extreme weather in mid-latitudes has long been noted, but only recently have the first tentative reports of an attributable change in regime occupancy begun to emerge. A recent example is the 2014 floods in the Southern UK, which are thought to have occurred not because of individually heavy downpours, but because of a more persistent jet. Quantifying such changes presents a challenge because high atmospheric resolution is required for realistic simulation of the processes that give rise to weather regimes, while large ensembles are required to quantify subtle but potentially important changes in regime occupancy statistics and event frequency. Under this project we propose, for the first time, to apply a well-established large-ensemble methodology that allows explicit simulation of changing event probabilities to a global seasonal-forecast-resolution model. We aim to answer the following question: over Europe, does the dynamical response to human influence on climate, manifest through changing occupancy of circulation regimes and event frequency, exacerbate or counteract the thermodynamic response, which is primarily manifest through increased available moisture and energy in individual events? Our focus is on comparing present-day conditions with the counterfactual "world that might have been" without human influence on climate, and comparing 1.5 degree and 2 degree future scenarios. While higher forcing provides higher signal-to-noise, interpretation is complicated by changing drivers and the potential for a non-linear response. We compensate for a lower signal with unprecedentedly large ensembles. Event attribution has been recognised by the WCRP as a key component of any comprehensive package of climate services. NERC science has been instrumental in its development so far: this project will provide a long-overdue integration of attribution research into the broader agenda of understanding the dynamics of mid-latitude weather.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/R001324/1
    Funder Contribution: 253,939 GBP
    Partners: Utrecht University, UBC, Boston College, University of Sheffield, UWEC

    In establishing the theory of evolution Charles Darwin realized that life originated only once and over billions of years diversified, through evolution, into the bewildering diversity of life on Earth today. Since this monumental paradigm shift a major goal of biology has been to establish the 'true tree of life' in terms of evolutionary relationships of the different types of organism and timing of their divergence. The most problematic and least understood regions of the tree of life are its deep roots: the origin of life and its early diversification. This is because these events occurred billions of years ago in the deep past and: (i) the primary divergence into the three domains of life (bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes) involved a complicated combining of organisms in 'endosymbiotic events'; (ii) the organisms involved are unfamiliar because modern relatives, if any, have changed dramatically through time; (iii) the fossil record is poor in rocks from such ancient times; (iv) techniques such as molecular clock analyses become unreliable the further back in time one investigates. The euglenids are a bizarre group of single-celled organisms common on the planet today. They inhabit freshwater environments where they move through the water using a unique motion called 'peristaltic movement'. Intriguingly, they either feed by ingesting matter (like animals) or through harvesting the Sun's energy (like plants). It is believed that they can do the latter because they combined with a photosynthetic unicellular green algae during a 'secondary endosymbiotic event'. Euglenoids are familiar to many of us as they are routinely examined in elementary laboratory classes, to familiarise students with the basic features of single-celled eukaryotes and the fact that some display characteristics of both animals and plants. Euglenids are particularly fascinating because studies of their anatomy and genome suggest they are among the most primitive of the earliest eukaryote organisms (that is organisms that have a true cell and evolved through the combination of more basic organisms (bacteria and archaea) that lack a true cell). Unfortunately euglenids lack a recognisable fossil record so we know little regarding their origin and evolutionary history. In order to remedy this major problem we have trawled the literature and discovered a number of fossils that have euglenid-like characters. Our insight is that we have discovered a way of recognising whether a fossil does indeed represent a true euglenid. Modern euglenids have a unique cell wall structure, and by taking extremely thin sections of their cell walls (less that 1/10,000 mm in thickness) and examining them under a powerful Transmission Electron Microscope, it is possible to identify this unique structure. We have undertaken preliminary studies on potential fossil euglenids and demonstrated that we can observe such structure in the fossils and hence prove that they are indeed euglenids. Some of the euglenid-like fossils are a staggering 1 billion years old. Our proposal is to analyse potential euglenid fossils from throughout the geological column and, by demonstrating which possess the characteristic euglenid wall structure, provide a continuous fossil record for the euglenids. This will place euglenids as one of the few groups of early divergent eukaryotes with a deep fossil record (and the first of the SuperGroup Excavates). This is important because it will provide evidence for the timing and nature of the diversification of the earliest eukaryotes. It will also provide an important fossil calibration point for molecular biologists that undertake molecular clock studies. Furthermore, we are addressing a highly topical research area and our findings will fuel current controversies concerning whether the eukaryotes evolved in the ocean or in fresh water and how and when euglenids acquired their secondary endosymbiotic green alga.

  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 5U01AA026101-02
    Funder Contribution: 178,999 USD
    Partners: UBC
  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 741874
    Overall Budget: 13,554,100 EURFunder Contribution: 3,768,310 EUR
    Partners: CIHR, ETAg, STATE RESEARCH AGENCY OF SPAIN, MINISTRY OF INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, CNRS, CRSNG, CAJA DE AHORROS Y PENSIONES DE BARCELONA LA CAIXA, Ministero della Salute, VETENSKAPSRADET - SWEDISH RESEARCH COUNCIL, ANR...

    Despite efforts to reduce fragmentation across the European Research Area, the European scientific system is still facing challenges in achieving gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research and innovation. In this context, and in line with ERA policy goals and national contexts, the GENDER-NET Plus ERA-NET Cofund aims to strengthen transnational collaborations between research programme owners and managers, provide support to the promotion of gender equality through institutional change and instigate the integration of sex and gender analysis into research and funding programmes. To do so, project partners – a consortium of 16 committed organisations – will join forces to 1) Implement a joint co-funded call for proposals, 2) Design and implement transnational actions on the promotion of gender equality through institutional change and the integration of sex and gender analysis into research, 3) Update and enlarge the mappings and analyses carried out in GENDER-NET on the promotion of gender equality in research and innovation, 4) Carry out a joint assessment of gender differences and bias in access to research grants and define and develop appropriate conditions for promoting equal opportunities in research funding, 5) Promote and disseminate key findings. GENDER-NET will address these goals through 7 work packages and relies on a strong transnational cooperation between partner EU Member States, Associated Countries, and Third Countries, to contribute to the advancement of gender equality in the ERA.