The German Research Foundation extends two new Research Training Groups at the University of Freiburg
Success for the Research Training Groups ‘Conservation of Forest Biodiversity in Multiple-Use Landscapes of Central Europe’ and ‘Transport across and into membranes’: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is supporting the two facilities for junior researchers for the next four and a half years with in total more than nine million euros.
Conservation of Forest Biodiversity in Multiple-Use Landscapes of Central Europe (ConFoBi)
Using the Black Forest as a model system: for four and a half years, doctoral researchers at the University of Freiburg have been studying whether structural retention measures, namely habitat trees and dead wood, are suitable for biodiversity conservation in production forests, and how conservation can effectively be integrated with other forest uses such as timber production and recreation. ConFoBi cooperates closely with the state‘s forest agency ForstBW, and its research institution FVA. The DFG is now providing the Research Training Group with a further five million euros.
ConFoBi’s research is interdisciplinary: ecologists study how much structural diversity is necessary to secure the survival of numerous groups of organisms in production forests, while economists and social scientists analyze the conditions under which forest managers will enable such structural diversity. In this second funding phase, ConFoBi scientists will increasingly synthesize their results across all disciplines to show how to reconcile biodiversity conservation with other forest uses. Prof. Dr. Ilse Storch from the Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources is the spokesperson for the Research Training Group.
Transport across and into membranes
In the past four and a half years, PhD students at the University of Freiburg have been studying the mechanisms by which substances are transported through cell membranes. The DFG has approved a renewal for the Research Training Group and is providing funding of more than four million euros.
In order to survive, cells have to be in contact with their environment and exchange substances with one another. So they have developed mechanisms to transport substances of different sizes through their membranes. If the processes that transport substances through the membrane become faulty, it may cause diseases. In this second funding phase, the researchers want to characterize the transport processes in more detail at a molecular level and break down the interaction of membranes with the proteins that enable these processes. The results of this can contribute to a deeper understanding of certain diseases – and are the key to developing suitable medicines. The spokesperson of the Research Training Group is Prof. Dr. Thorsten Friedrich from the Institute of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy.