Classes of Excellence 2022

Concept

The broad topic for all classes is research and management of natural capital under climate change. We consider two main themes within this broader topic.

  • Theme 1: Future climate risks to our natural capital.
  • Theme 2: Ecosystem-climate and atmosphere interactions: how do we measure them and interpret their importance?

For whom?

PhD candidates and postdocs with a broad interest in natural capital.

What?

Throughout these classes, everybody will contribute toward a jointly-written high-level review or perspective paper on natural capital and climate change led by prof. Ellsworth. We will stimulate interaction with academic experts, as well as other stakeholders.

  1. As one of 40 participants, you will be divided into a group based on your expertise and assigned a topic to work on together with others throughout the six classes.
    Each group will focus on a specific natural capital aspect (e.g. soils, water, forest, agriculture, food, …) and examine its climate risk but also an opportunity for enhancing the capital for public-good benefit.
  2. In the first phase, two groups will be assigned the same topic to work on independently and deliver a synthesis text (~800 words), that can feed into a jointly-written perspective paper led by David Ellsworth.
  3. In the last phase, the two groups merge to make a consensus text.

At each class, the students can continue to work on their project and interact with David, experts, and each other. Each class will last around 2 to 3 hours and will be interactive.

Participants are expected to attend all classes in-person including the inaugural lecture and the closing symposium. Master’s students can apply so long as they intend to follow the full course.

7 September 2022

Kickoff classes of excellence @ UGent: Future climate risks to our natural capital, introduction

Theme 1: Future climate risks to our natural capital.

Location: TBD

  • 9.00-12.00 getting to know each other + class of excellence
  • 12.00-13.00 lunch
  • 13.00-16.00 free time in Ghent
  • 16.00 inaugural lecture David Ellsworth, Aula, Voldersstraat 9, 9000 Gent (register separately)

28 September 2022

Class of excellence @UHasselt: Experimental studies of climate change impact on ecosystem functioning

Theme 2: Ecosystem-climate and atmosphere interactions: how do we measure them and interpret their importance?

Location: Ecotron UHasselt and National Park Hoge Kempen

  • 9.00 departure by bus from Hasselt central station
  • 9:45 welcome
  • 10.00 presentation about Ecotron research: UHasselt researchers: Nadia Soudzilovskaia and Francois Rineau
  • 11.00-11.15 coffee break with questions
  • 11.15-12.30 visit of UHasselt Ecotron
  • 12.30-13.30 lunch at Pizzeria in the Maasmechelen Village
  • 13.30-16.00 class of excellence
  • 16.00 return by bus to the Hasselt central station, visiting ICOS Ecosystem station in the National Park Hoge Kempen

6 October 2022

Class of excellence @UAntwerpen: Ecosystem processes that mitigate atmospheric CO2

Theme 2: Ecosystem-climate and atmosphere interactions: how do we measure them and interpret their importance?

Location: TBD

  • 9.30 welcome and coffee
  • 10.00 lecture by Prof. Ivan Janssens: “Measuring greenhouse gas fluxes with eddy covariance: applications and validation”
  • 11.00 visit of the Plants and Ecosystems experimental site
  • 12.00 lunch
  • 13.00 visit of the mesodrome facilities and/or negative emissions experiments
  • 14.00-16.30 class of excellence

27 October 2022

Class of excellence @ULiège-Gembloux: Spatial and temporal scales of observations at temperate and tropical ecosystems

Theme 2: Ecosystem-climate and atmosphere interactions: how do we measure them and interpret their importance?

Location: Gembloux

  • 09:30 - 10:00 welcome with coffee/tea with introduction (ZT2 auditorium)
  • 10:00 - 12:30 class of excellence (ZT1 auditorium)
  • 12:30 - 13:30 lunch
  • 13.30 – 14.30 visit of the ECOTRON
  • 14.30 – 15.00 virtual visit of the forest plots and measurements (video)
  • 15.00 – 15.30 coffee
  • 15:30 - 16:30 scientific discussions with the two research groups: Biosystems Dynamics and Exchanges (Bernard) and (tropical) Forest Ecology and Management (Adeline).
  • 16:30 - 17:30 drinks (local beers produced in Gembloux)

8 November 2022

Class of excellence @VUB and ULB: Climate risks for key ecosystem services for human livelihood: water and biodiversity

Theme 1: Future climate risks to our natural capital.

Location: ULB campus Solbosch, Brussels

  • 9.00-12.00 class of excellence
  • 12.00-13.30 lunch
  • 13.30-15.30 mini symposium climate and ecology research at ULB and VUB (8 x (12min talks + 3min questions))
  • 15.30-16.00 coffee break
  • 16.00-18.00 public lecture David

24 November 2022

Class of excellence @UCL: Tree carbon uptake under climate change: interacting effects of elevated CO2, nutrients and water availability

Theme 1: Future climate risks to our natural capital.

Location: Earth & Life Institute - Environmental Sciences (ELIE), Croix du Sud 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

  • 08.45 Welcome with coffee
  • 09.15 – 10.00 Seminar from D. Ellsworth
  • 10.15 – 12.45 class of excellence
  • 12.45 – 13.45 lunch
  • 13.45 – 15.15 Station visit to the Bois de Lauzelle (A bus will leave from Louvain-la-Neuve to the forest and bring all participants back)