Huge success for young academic talent - 3 ERC Starting Grants awarded to TUM School of Life Sciences researchers

Research, Award |

Twelve talented researchers at TUM have been awarded ERC Starting Grants by the European Research Council (ERC) - three of them from the TUM School of Life Sciences. The European Union provides these research grants to academics early in their careers. These talented individuals submitted their leading-edge research projects to a competition and have now been selected by a high-ranking group of experts.

Three research projects at the TUM School of Life Sciences will be funded with Starting Grants from the European Research Council, including the research of PD Dr. Seibold on the control circuit in forests (Image: S. Seibold / TUM).

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann: “Twelve ERC Starting Grants  – a tremendous success for TUM and an international confirmation of the high scientific quality of the researchers. I offer my sincere congratulations to those who have earned these grants, and I am very eager to see the fascinating results of their research projects.”

So far, TUM researchers have succeeded in winning a total of 176 renowned ERC Grants, awarded each year in a variety of categories. ERC Starting Grants are intended for scientists who are still at the beginning of their careers; the Grants are endowed with up to 1.5 million euros. These are the new ERC Starting Grants at the TUM School of Life Sciences:

PD Dr. Sebastian Seibold

Forests play an important role in climate change because they absorb and store CO2. However, part of the natural cycle is also the decomposition of dead plants by fungi and insects, during which the stored CO2 is released. Sebastian Seibold will study this regulatory cycle in the project BIOCOMP. In a global study, he wants to investigate how decomposition processes change with increasing climate warming and simultaneous changes in species diversity. The goal is to provide data and strategies to address this challenge of current climate and forest policy.

Adjunct Teaching Professor Dr. Sebastian Seibold is a research associate at the Chair of Ecosystem Dynamics and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes at TUM of Prof. Rupert Seidl.

Prof. Dr. Mathias Wilhelm

Proteins play a crucial role in biological processes in all organisms. Their blueprints are encoded in genes, whereby a single gene may well be responsible for several variants of proteins, so-called isoforms. In his ORIGIN project, Mathias Wilhelm wants to use the huge amount of existing data from mass spectrometry studies to train neuronal networks. His main goal is to develop an analysis method that, for the first time, allows the systematic identification and quantification of isoforms using this artificial intelligence. This is supposed to significantly increase our understanding of the molecular diversity of life and answer open questions about the occurrence, abundance and functional roles of these isoforms.

Mathias Wilhelm is Professor of Computational Mass Spectrometry.

Dr. David Johannes Wuepper

Increasing land degradation is a global problem with serious implications for climate change, biodiversity, water quality and agricultural production. All over the world, countries are trying to counteract this development, relying on a variety of different strategies. In his project LAND-POLICY, David Johannes Wuepper wants to record these government measures worldwide and analyze their respective effectiveness. The resulting database will use machine-learning software, among other things, to enable a comparison of the cost-effectiveness of such measures for the first time. The aim is to support policymakers and the public in the future selection of appropriate measures.

Dr. David Johannes Wuepper is an agricultural economist and designated as a junior research group leader at the Professorship of Forest Inventory and Sustainable Use.

Weitere Informationen und Links

Paul Hellmich
Corporate Communications Center
Technical University Munich