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UBO

University of Western Brittany
Country: France
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61 Projects, page 1 of 13
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 800498
    Overall Budget: 173,076 EURFunder Contribution: 173,076 EUR

    A pesticide is defined as any substance used to kill, repel, or control certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests. They include herbicides for destroying weeds and other unwanted vegetation, insecticides for controlling a wide variety of insects, fungicides used to prevent the growth of molds, disinfectants for preventing the spread of bacteria, and rodenticides used to control mice and rats. Undoubtedly, the use of a wide range of pesticides has increased crop yields, controlled disease vectors and reduced postharvest losses. However, practically all pesticides are poisons and some of them pose long-term danger to the environment and humans through their persistence in nature and body tissue. Ideally a pesticide must be lethal to the targeted pests, but not to non-target species, including man. In the search for new alternatives, several researches paid attention towards the marine environment. Indeed, marine organisms are in constant competition with other species and any organism being able to produce compounds providing it with an evolutional advantage will prevail. Such products have been optimized through evolution to be highly efficient and represent as many opportunities for us, researchers, to develop "greener" tools to answer the increasing demand for environmentally respectful chemicals. The main goal of the project I propose is to assess the potential of specific marine organisms to produce prototype ecofriendly agrochemical agents, especially herbicides and fungicides, and to further evaluate the potential hits. In parallel, I will investigate the biosynthetic pathway of the natural compound as well as its ecological role towards other marine organisms. I envision to cover several cutting-edge areas both in fundamental and applied research, from bioprospection to ecotoxicology and including biological testing, chemical ecology and medicinal chemistry.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 798319
    Overall Budget: 173,076 EURFunder Contribution: 173,076 EUR

    Climate change by the early-to-mid century will attract great social, economic, political and scientific attention. Countries will be faced with elevated sea levels, changes in drought and precipitation, alterations to marine ecosystems, and economic insecurity as a result of Earth’s changing climate. In order to make practical and prudent decisions about economic aid to developing and developed countries alike, the European Union (EU) must predict global change with increased accuracy. While climate models are consistently improving in predictive skill, their computational demands necessitate parameterization of sub-grid-scale processes. In oceans, one such process is centrifugal instability (CI) occurring near topographic boundaries in the abyssal oceans. The research proposed here, “Centrifugal Instability in the Orkney Passage (CIOP)”, aims to improve our predictive capability of climate by representing a small-scale turbulent mixing process occurring in and around steep topography, and that is believed to impact global ocean circulation through modification of dense water properties. This study will focus on the analysis and interpretation of moored observations and model simulations of Orkney Passage (OP). As the OP is a region where dense water that is formed within the Weddell Sea is modified prior to joining the deep ocean circulation, it is a prime candidate for such study. As part of CIOP, the applicant will (1) enhance understanding of energy and buoyancy fluxes by closely examining mooring and high-resolution model data, (2) identify a relationship between volume transport and fluxes within OP and (3) identify regions conducive to CI. Three outcomes of CIOP will be (i) work toward representing such fluxes in coarse-resolution models and communicated through open-access publications, conferences and meetings, (ii) development of the applicant’s modelling skills and (iii) strategic collaborations between French, British, and American institutions.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 749591
    Overall Budget: 246,668 EURFunder Contribution: 246,668 EUR

    The open ocean is the largest biome on Earth, yet it is the least protected. A major obstacle to its conservation lies in the fine-grained understanding of how marine organisms are affected by the ocean dynamics. In the last decades remote sensing and bio-logging drastically increased our understanding to how phytoplankton (that can be observed from space as ocean color) and large marine animals (that can be followed with sensors directly attached to them) responds to oceanic turbulence down to the mesoscale (few weeks-months, 10-100 km). A major knowledge gap still concerns the so-called "intermediate trophic levels" (ITLs, i.e. zooplankton and micronekton,) and how mesoscale currents (such as fronts and eddies) affect them. This is the focus of the MECODIHR project. The project uses an unprecedented combination of remote-sensing, and modelling on a multi-disciplinary in-situ database collected in the North-West Atlantic to identify patterns in the distribution of ITLs, relate them to physical structures and biogeochemical observations and make hypotheses about why such relationships arise. High-resolution state-of-the-art modelling allows to test the validity of the formulated hypotheses, clarify the mechanisms behind observed co-localisations and expand the extent of findings. High resolution in-situ measurements and modelling allows to approach how submesoscale dynamics (and its inter-seasonal variability) affect the distribution of ITLs. The MECODIHR results, acquired between the two multidisciplinary highly-reknown oceanographic laboratory of the University of Washington (outgoing phase : 2 years) and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (incoming phase : 1 year), will provide critical information for open ocean conservation. The MECODIHR project will also train Dr. Della Penna with a rare combination of skills (including scientific, communicative, technical and transferable skills) that are fundamental to face the future challenges of marine sciences.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101088403
    Overall Budget: 1,996,650 EURFunder Contribution: 1,996,650 EUR

    What is the role of contemporary Indigenous artists, and non-Indigenous artists engaging with Indigenous people knowledges, in making ocean and space pollution visible? How are Indigenous knowledges, know-how, histories, and memories mobilised to address current environmental crises? Strongly grounded in anthropology and the arts, OSPAPIK is both pluri- and interdisciplinary. It offers innovative approaches to pollution, Indigenous knowledges, and the arts through its systematic focus on materiality and on the relationship that people have with waste. It intends to develop novel, critical, and ethnographically-informed analyses of the socio-environmental life of waste by investigating how creative and artistic expressions allow the artists themselves, scientists, expedition project organisers, and audiences to better understand how marine ecosystems and (outer) space are impacted by pollution. It will also interrogate whether the study of arts provides means to better understand the different professional sectors and actors involved in depolluting. The whole project is designed to rigorously analyse conjointly 1/ the motifs and patterns used by Indigenous artists and non-Indigenous artists collaborating with Indigenous people and 2/ the ways these artists use ocean and outer space waste and debris as artistic material. It focuses on the ocean and space, where pollution can be invisible to the eyes, and which are spaces that are often deemed sacred according to Indigenous cosmogonies, but have been perceived, according to dominant Western modern conceptions, as uninhabited. The project aims to study comparatively affective, professional, sensorial, and historical relationships to marine, nuclear, and space debris and waste, through an analysis of Indigenous artistic practices and non-Indigenous practices engaging with Indigenous knowledges.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 797405
    Overall Budget: 185,076 EURFunder Contribution: 185,076 EUR

    This transregional and interdisciplinary research proposal analyses the impact of the shipworm epidemic on coastal societies along the North Sea in the eighteenth century. The shipworm is a mollusc that scavenges floating or submerged wood in a marine environment. Lodged in the wooden hulls of returning East Indiamen, the shipworm was brought to Europe around 1730. Within a few years the shipworm had destroyed man-made wooden structures all along the North Sea coast. North-Western Europe faced an ecological disaster; the Low Countries were on the brink of flooding as the shipworms destroyed the wooden dikes, expensive harbour infrastructure was damaged beyond repair and numerous ships had to receive new hulls in order to keep afloat. The implemented solutions and reforms to minimise the shipworm’s effects were manifold and often had far reaching consequences. As such the shipworm’s societal impact was wide-ranged, as it spawned – to name a few examples – religious fanaticism resulting in mass executions of homosexuals in the Dutch Republic, political reforms in the Southern Netherlands, scientific interest in marine biology, a new international balance of power and innovative techniques in ship hull optimisation. This study is based on archival research and on an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with marine biologists and hydrodynamic engineers. This approach determines the degree of innovation in shipping and its resulting economic efficiency. Boards representing copper sheathed, tar coated and uncoated ship hulls will be contaminated with shipworms and subsequently tested in a towing tank to measure the ships’ water resistance. The shipworm epidemic was an environmental crisis that had a large impact on the North Sea area. Through analysing several case-studies this research aims to show how and why these societies reacted as they did, why some ended up in deadlock and why others were able to turn the tide and profit from this crisis through innovation.

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