CeSAM's Fast Track Initiatives awarded
In 2021, we announced our first ‘CeSAM’s Fast-Track Initiative’ grants. We had many strong applications, of which four received funding.
The funding decisions were prioritized based on the following criteria:
i) the degree to which the application fit the criteria as specified in the call;
ii) the quality of the proposal;
iii) the extent to which the proposed project contributed an added value to CeSAM;
iv) the portfolio of funded projects.
We thank all applicants for their excellent proposals, and congratulations to you who received funding! We are looking forward to fruitful collaboarations with these exciting projects in the near future. Here, we are pleased to introduce the four funded projects to you:
Management of plastic waste within the fishery- and aquaculture industry in Hordaland
Granted to: Anna Kraaijeveld Enerstvedt, Dept. of Geography, UiB
Enerstvedt will work on rewriting her Master’s thesis (supervised by Grete Rusten) into a publishable manuscript. The work focuses on marine plastic pollution, specifically that resulting from the Norwegian seafood industry. The aim of this paper will be to bring forth knowledge on challenges, limitations, and possibilities within design, use and reuse of plastic products utilized in the seafood industry which includes both fish-farming and marine fisheries. The topic interacts with various sustainability goals (2, 12, 14). Besides field-based data, the paper will be based on theory from geography, ecology, management, organizations, and politics. By presenting examples from the current utilization and management of plastic products in relation to circular economy theory, the article will be very relevant for evidence-based decision making in the coming management of plastic products in production systems.
Accommodating a publication by a recently graduated Master student fits CeSAM’s criteria of promoting early-career researchers. The topic of the paper also presents a strong link to our focus on the sustainability challenge.
The Master thesis (in Norwegian) can be found in Bora.
Effectiveness of Management of Norwegian Coastal Heathlands: Evidence Mapping and Knowledge Transfer
Granted to: Amy Eycott, Nord University.
European coastal heathlands are a complex, multi-use social-ecological systems which have reduced dramatically in area due to complex threats including agricultural intensification, land abandonment, invasive alien species and peri-urban development. There are over three decades of scientific research on the effects of management and restoration actions in coastal heathlands, but recent interactions with various stakeholders – particularly the public sector – has revealed that this research is perceived as either non-existent, inaccessible or not relevant to real-world practice.
In order to address this identified barrier in the flow of information from researchers to practitioners, as well as outline knowledge gaps for future research proposals, Eycott will host a workshop to develop and write a bibliometric review and practitioner-friendly summary of research on effectiveness of active management of Norwegian coastal heathlands.
We noted that this synthesis was presented with a specific, and well-argued knowledge gap, and the outcome of the project has potential to add value both in applied and fundamental research.
Machine-learning tools to investigate ecological processes behind pollination
Granted to: Alistair Seddon (Dept. of Biological Sciences, UiB) and Joseph Chipperfield (NINA)
Most of the world’s food crops rely upon bees and other pollinators. In Norway, commercial fruit and berry production accounts for over 15% of the country’s horticultural production by weight. However, national Norwegian domestic fruit production has exhibited a marked volatility over the last decade, largely ascribed to a sensitivity to climatic conditions. A healthy mix of pollinator species can improve the resilience of this food production system, but very little is known about how to optimize the mix of pollinators for different fruit systems. Quantifying the level of pollination service provided by different pollinator species, and which plant species they fertilize, will greatly help understanding the system, and the information can provide assistance to managers in designing effective wildflower mixes to encourage the pollination of orchards by diverse and more resilient pollinator assemblages.
Seddon and Chipperfield aim to build on recent research results that demonstrate the possibility of identifying pollen found on pollinator samples using novel computer vision and machine learning methods.
The evaluation committee found that this research project was strong, interesting, topically relevant, and fits our goals of supporting early-career CeSAM researchers. The project has potential for added value for CeSAM through interaction with multiple research projects and disciplines.
An interdisciplinary assessment of the adaptive capacity of keystone ecological and socio-economic species within the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Norway
Granted to: Sonya Geange, Dept. of Biological Sciences, UiB
The Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Norway is noted for its diverse ecological systems and cultural landscapes - from managed coastal heathland archipelagos and aquaculture-rich Atlantic waters, to the inland Fjords and mountain grazing lands. With Biosphere Reserves needing to balance biodiversity conservation and human development, key future challenges include not only how the region can continue to sustainably develop, but also function ecologically in light of ongoing climate change. Within conservation and natural resource management it is increasingly common to use expert judgment tools to inform environmental risk and impact assessments and decision making in scenarios where quantitative data may be lacking, and/or rapid decisions are required).
Geange proposed to survey diverse stakeholders from ecological and social-ecological perspectives to identify key species for ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services within the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and to begin to evaluate their vulnerability to changing environments using expert judgement tools and adaptive capacity frameworks. This will result in expert-informed advice for use in planning sustainable management and conservation actions into the future.
The strong outline of this synthesis, as well as the outcomes that will benefit CeSAM in terms of publications and increased knowledge sharing among interdisciplinary researchers, were noteworthy to the committee. Furthermore, it fits our goal of supporting early-career CeSAM researchers.