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Four young Groningen researchers win NWO Rubicon travel grants

13 December 2013

Four young researchers from the University of Groningen will be able to conduct research abroad thanks to funding from NWO. NWO offers recent PhD graduates the opportunity to gain research experience at internationally renowned institutes abroad via its Rubicon programme.

The University of Groningen researchers were successful with the following projects:

Enzyme blocker to prevent antibiotic resistance

Dr A.A. (Andreas-Alexander) Bastian (m), RUG -> University of Notre Dame, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (US), 24 months

Since the first antibiotics were introduced, bacteria have defended themselves against them by developing resistance. The rise of resistance, particularly multidrug resistance (MDR), is becoming a serious problem and means that current antibiotics are insufficient medication. The research will concentrate on developing new antibacterial compounds to tackle these problems. It will examine in particular those substances that help to counteract resistance to carbapenems, a class of antibiotic currently regarded as the last resort against resistant bacteria.

Domino effect of disease in wild birds

Dr A. (Arne) Hegemann (m), RUG -> Lund, physiological ecology (SE), 24 months

A cold usually only lasts a few days. It can have long-term effects, however, for example if you miss an important event. The same effects can occur with animals. The researchers fit birds with tiny transmitters to work out what the effects of a brief illness can be on migratory behaviour and breeding.

Symbiosis between lice, ants and their intestinal flora

Dr A.B.F. (Aniek) Ivens (f), RUG -> Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution – The Rockefeller University (US), 24 months

Meadow ants farm aphids under the ground. The honeydew produced by the aphids serves as ‘milk’ for the ants and is chockfull of nutrients. The biologists will investigate the role played by the intestinal flora of the aphids and ants in the transfer of nutrients.

An evolutionary approach to choosing to have children or not

Dr G. (Gert) Stulp (m), RUG -> The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Evolutionary Demography (GB), 24 months

Individual’s decisions whether or not to have children in modern, industrialized societies are poorly understood. An evolutionary approach to such decisions could provide new insights, and reveal whether contemporary reproductive behaviour is (mal)adaptive. Such insights could furthermore improve population forecasts, thus facilitate population policy.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.32 p.m.
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