iCRAG PI Prof. Jennifer McElwain of Trinity College Dublin has won a highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant. The TERRAFORM project will bring together concepts and data sources from modern day ecology, paleo-Earth weathering and decomposition experiments, climate modelling and high-resolution analyses of fossil plants to quantify land plants’ impact on the carbon, nutrient and hydrological cycles in deep-time. TERRAFORM also aims to increase literacy in Earth System Science among a non-traditional audience via an embedded artist-in-residence programme.
The project will study fossil plants collected from Greenland, North America, Denmark, the UK and many other countries. Exciting new experiments will be conducted in a newly established Variable Atmosphere and Light laboratory at Trinity East. The new Science Foundation Ireland and Trinity co-funded lab will simulate the climate, atmospheric and light environments of a previous Earth allowing the research team to travel back in time to undertake their experiments.
ERC Advanced Grants support excellent researchers at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track-record of research achievements. Candidates have to demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. The projects must be hosted at institutions in the EU or associated countries