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: Campus Coupure, Ghent University

  • 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 welcome coffee
  • 10:00 class of excellence
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 13:00 visit to the ECOTRON + virtual visit of the ICOS sites and plot network in central Africa (dynaffac)
  • 14:30 coffee + posters
  • 15:00 Lecture of Prof. Ellsworth: Ecosystem-climate-atmosphere interactions in temperate and tropical forests: sensitive to warming and rising CO2?
  • 16:00 drinks (local beers produced in Gembloux) + posters

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, room Dupréel, 2nd floor of building S of Solbosch campus (access through Jeanne avenue 44, 1050 Brussels)

  • 9.00-12.00 class of excellence
  • 12.00-13.30 lunch
  • 13.30 start mini symposium climate and ecology research at ULB and VUB (8 x (12min talks + 3min questions))
    • 13:35 Wim Thiery: The kids aren’t alright
    • 13:55 Pierre Regnier: The land-to-ocean loops of the global carbon cycle: biogeochemistry, ecology and climate change feedbacks
    • 14:15 Olivier Hardy: Distribution of plant (genetic) diversity in African forests – a legacy of past climate changes?
    • 14:35 Tom Van der Stocken: Mangrove dispersal and climate change
    • 14:55 Nathalie Gypens: Phytoplankton diversity: a key component of aquatic ecosystem functioning and associated goods and services under anthropogenic pressure
    • 15:15 Leon Marshall: Climate impacts on pollination services: potential for spatial mismatches between apple crops and their wild bee pollinators
  • 15.30-16.00 coffee break
  • 16.00-18.00 public lecture David : Climate risks for key ecosystem services for human livelihood: water and biodiversity

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)