Grantees 2018

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2018: Ms. Lilit Khachatryan

Lilit Khachatryan is a PhD student and junior researcher at the Center for Ecological – Noosphere Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Her SSV will be supervised by Dr Carlo Calfapietra at the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology.

About the project

The project title is "Particulate Matter Mitigation Potential of Fraxinus excelsior and Platanus orientalis" and aims to determine the ability of these species to mitigate particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere. With PM increasing due to air pollution it is a worthy endeavour to identify trees which are best at reducing PM to be planted in urban areas.

Project progress report

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2018: Mr. Jihwi Jang

Jihwi Jang is a junior researcher of Urban Environment and Plant Science Lab, University of Seoul, with a major in Environmental Horticulture. His experience lies with Populus and Salix species, particularly in the physiological adaptability, biomass yield and interaction with microorganisms.

His SSV will be hosted by the University of Helsinki, Finland and supervised by Dr Frank Berninger.

About the project

As climate change threatens the supply of timber worldwide, Mr Jang is researching the effects of CO2 and temperature increases on leaf respiration and the mechanism behind the plant-atmosphere carbon exchange under drought conditions. The study is focussed on Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) in boreal forests.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2018: Mr. Andriambelo Radonirina Razafimahatratra

Andriambelo Radonirina Razafimahatratra is a PhD student and research assistant at Ecole Doctorale Gestion des Forêts et des Ressources Naturelles - Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques – University of Antananarivo, Madagascar. He is working on near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), particularly to predict wood properties.

His SSV is hosted by CIRAD in Montpelier, France and is supervised by Dr Gilles Chaix and is the longest SSV of the IUFRO-EFI YSI to date and will be concluded in December 2018.

About the project

The project title is "NIRS prediction models of Malagasy wood properties and transfer of NIRS calibration between different spectrometers" and aims to characterise the properties of Malagasy wood in order to relieve pressure on the species with known, useful properties in his home country. NIRS analysis delivers non-destructive wood property characterization in a fast and efficient manner. With the hope of rescuing some over exploited tree species, this is a noble scientific endeavour and we at IUFRO and EFI wish Mr Razafimahatratra the best in achieving this outcome.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2018: Mr. Prem Prakash Singh

I am a Ph.D. student from North-Eastern Hill University, India. I am working under supervision of Dr. Somidh Saha (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, main host) and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus (University of Freiburg, co-host) during this short scientific visit to Germany. My research interests are in the fields of forest restoration, forest ecology, and biodiversity conservation.  I am exploring the scope of future collaboration between Germany and India to restore degraded and fragmented forests of my state. I think this is a great initiative capable of linking and meeting the needs of local issues and challenges through effective collaboration on a global platform.

About the project

My project entitles Assessing restoration potential of fragmented and degraded Fagaceae forests in Meghalaya, North-East India. The forests in Meghalaya are highly degraded and fragmented due to high anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., mining, unsustainable forest utilization, shifting cultivation, browsing etc.). In this study, we are assessing for the first time, the restoration potential (i.e. capacity of natural regeneration and state of vitality) of Fagaceae species (2 Lithocarpus, 4 Castanopsis, and 4 Quercus species) in Meghalaya. We will know how biotic factors, abiotic factors, and anthropogenic disturbances influence restoration potential of Fagaceae species. We aim to motivate tribal landowners towards forest landscape restoration and sustainable community forest management. We hope this project will set the stage for creating future trials on forest restoration; combining passive (e.g. fostering the existing forest patches), and active restoration (e.g. planting degraded areas), with participation of local tribal communities and support from the government.

Project progress report

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2018: Our very first grantee, Ms Minette Nago

Ms Nago, from Cameroon, is the first candidate to start the IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative research visit.

Her project is titled “The politics of forest and climate change cooperation in Congo basin” and is currently being conducted at Goettingen University, Germany.

The project has already yielded some success and will most likely produce a journal article titled “Forest diplomacy in the Congo basin: The failure machine?” This aims to contribute to the expansion of the IUFRO Division 9 - Forest Policy and Economics and is focussed on diplomatically orientated forest negotiations.

When asked about her impression of the YSI thus far, Ms Nago responded, "It is very encouraging in terms of the support of the initiative administrative staff as well as the network built at the host institution." This is great news as it seems that the intended collaboration between institutions across the world is working seamlessly.

The next four grantees will start their visits shortly and we are looking forward to hosting them in Europe.

We wish Ms Nago and her future YSI counterparts a successful and productive time in Europe.

Project progress report