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WU

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY
Country: Netherlands
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667 Projects, page 1 of 134
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 237714
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 334544
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101061723
    Funder Contribution: 203,464 EUR

    For over 150 years, insular environments have played a key role in biological research, as they provide an explicit spatial and temporal context in which to study the processes behind biodiversity. Traditionally, the origin and maintenance of biodiversity in islands has been studied from the ecological aspects of biogeography such as immigration, colonization and extinction, while microevolutionary processes such as adaptation were ignored. Biodiversity in islands depends not only on colonization, but also on the successful establishment via biological adaptations, and on speciation. The integration of microevolution with Island Biogeography Theory (IBT) is a crucial next step. Here I propose to use marine lakes –islands of seawater surrounded by land– to shed light on the origin and maintenance of fish biodiversity by understanding the interaction between colonization, extinction and adaptation. To achieve this, I will compare marine lakes of similar ages, sizes and environmental conditions, but differing in the level of isolation to the sea, in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. First, I will examine how isolation and fish dispersal-related traits affect species diversity and composition in marine lakes. I will document marine lakes biodiversity patterns using video camera recordings and I will collate information on traits from public data repositories. Second, I will test how isolation affects colonization and extinction by documenting historic colonization-extinction dynamics (750 years before the present) using eDNA from sediment cores. Finally, I will test how isolation affects local adaptation by examining signatures of adaptation in marine lakes with different levels of connectivity to the sea using population genetics. This unique combination of study system, data, and novel analyses to integrate microevolution with IBT, will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the process responsible for the origin and maintenance of biodiversity.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 682444
    Overall Budget: 1,950,000 EURFunder Contribution: 1,950,000 EUR

    Current water treatment technologies are mainly aimed to improve the quality of water. High-value nutrients, like nitrate and phosphate ions, often remain present in waste streams. Electro-driven separation processes offer a sustainable way to recover these nutrients. Ion-selective polymer membranes are a strong candidate to achieve selectivity in such processes. The aim of E-motion is to chemically modify porous electrodes with membranes to introduce selectivity in electro-driven separation processes. New, ultrathin ion-selective films will be designed, synthesized and characterized. The films will be made by successively adsorbing polycations and polyanions onto the electrodes. Selectivity will be introduced by the incorporation of ion-selective receptors. The adsorbed multilayer films will be studied in detail regarding their stability, selectivity and transport properties under varying experimental conditions of salinity, pH and applied electrical field, both under adsorption and desorption conditions. The first main challenge is to optimize and to understand the film architecture in terms of 1) stability towards an electrical field, 2) ability to facilitate ion transport. Also the influence of ion charge and ion size on the transport dynamics will be addressed. The focus of E-motion is set on phosphate ions, which is rather complex due to their large size, pH-dependent speciation and the development of phosphate-selective materials. Theoretical modelling of the solubility equilibria and electrical double layers will be pursued to frame the details of the electrosorption of phosphate. E-motion represents a major step forward in the selective recovery of nutrients from water in a cost-effective, chemical-free way at high removal efficiency. The proposed surface modification strategies and the increased understanding of ion transport and ionic interactions in membrane media offer also applications in the areas of batteries, fuel cells and solar fuel devices.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 843115
    Overall Budget: 175,572 EURFunder Contribution: 175,572 EUR

    The European Union (EU) is a leading global actor in the domain of Business and Human Rights (BHR) given the importance of its market and the advanced regulatory efforts it has put in place in relevant domains. Human rights and sustainable development are core EU values and lay at the basis of its Common Commercial Policy (CCP). While being one of the major and most active voices in the BHR debate of the last decades, the EU does not currently have in place a comprehensive BHR policy framework capable of ensuring coherence between it CSR policies and its trade and investment policies. At the same time, in the EU approach to BHR, a tension persists between a voluntaristic model of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the adoption of hard-law solutions capable of inducing change in business practices and of improving access to effective remedies in Europe for victims of business-related human rights abuses. At present, the announced EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct has not been adopted, yet, while there are growing calls on the EU from civil society, Member States and representatives of national Parliaments to adopt binding legislation in several BHR-related policy areas. As the EU is one of the main supporters of a meaningful implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on BHR, and has taken a critical stance on the possible adoption of an international binding treaty in this domain, it has a strong interest in ensuring the coherence and credibility of its approach to BHR. It is against this background that this research proposal, ‘The EU as a leading global actor in Business and Human Rights: Towards a coherent policy framework’ (BHR_EU) aims at analyzing EU’s growing role in BHR while highlighting areas of policy incoherence and inconsistency and proposing ways to elaborate and devise an effective EU policy framework on BHR. The proposed research adopts an interdisciplinary approach combining several branches of law and political sciences.

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