The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded starting grants to 14 Swedish researchers, of which four are based at Stockholm University. Birgit Wild, Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science is one of the four.

Birgit Wild’s project “Rhizosphere priming: Quantifying plant impacts on carbon dioxide emissions from a warming Arctic,” aims to answer the question of whether interactions between plants and soils will increase CO2 emissions from thawing permafrost soils in a warming climate.

Birgit Wild, Department of Environmental Science. Photo: Stella Papadopoulou

“We will approach this question by combining field and laboratory experiments with novel isotopic and modelling tools. The funding will allow me to take my research on plant-soil interactions to the next level, together with a strong team that will bring new expertise to the Department of Environmental Science,” says Birgit Wild.

A total of 397 researchers from around Europe will share 619 million euros, around 1.5 million euros each, to develop their research and build their research groups. The ERC Starting Grant is awarded to researchers at the beginning of their career and has scientific excellence as the only selection criterion. The researchers and their projects have been ranked highest in Europe through peer review and in very high competition. This year, more than 4,000 researchers applied for the grant (success rate of 10%). The ERC’s contribution is part of the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe.

Stockholm University received the highest number of starting grants in Sweden, namely 4 out of the 14. The researchers at Stockholm University who are granted a Starting Grant are:

Birgit Wild, Department of Environmental Science,”Rhizosphere priming: Quantifying plant impacts on carbon dioxide emissions from a warming Arctic”

Jón Gudmundsson, Physics, “Transforming cryogenic optics for cosmic microwave background experiments”

Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, Stockholm Resilience Center, “Emerging pests and pathogens as a novel lens for unraveling social-ecological cascades”

Ragnhild Lunnan, Department of Astronomy, “Transients Illuminating the Fates of the Most Massive Stars”

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11