You can read here a tribute to the life and research career of Martyn M. Caldwell who died earlier this year, in a piece written by Paul Barnes, Steve Flint and myself for the UV4Plants special issue of Physiologia Plantarum. In addition to his personal qualities, Martyn made a great contribution to plant ecophysiology and in particular understanding the ecological effects of UV radiation.
Marta Pieristè successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Light after Death: the importance of spectral composition in litter decomposition processes” on Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EET Finland. You can relive the PhD defence using the following video link: Marta Pieristè PhD defence
In addition to the Thesis Summary, the dissertation is composed of three published papers and one manuscript below:
- Pieristè† Neimane† et al. (2020) Ultraviolet radiation accelerates photodegradation under controlled conditions but slows the decomposition of leaf litter from forest stands in southern Finland. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. PLAPHY5920 146, 42–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.PLAPHY.2019.11.005
- Pieristè et al., (2019) Solar UV-A radiation and blue light enhance tree leaf litter decomposition in a temperate forest by accelerating photodegradation rate. Oecologia, 191(1), 191-203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04478-x
- Pieristè et al., (2020) Sunlight affects the microbial functional structure of beech leaf litter. Plant & Soil, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-020-04557-6
- Pieristè et al., (manuscript – embargoed) The crucial role of blue light as a driver of photodegradation in terrestrial ecosystems on the global scale: a meta-analysis.
As a joint PhD between Normandie Universite Rouen and the University of Helsinki, Marta’s Examination was be conducted by:
Custos : Prof Kurt Fagerstedt, University of Helsinki (Finland).
President: Prof Matty Berg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
To meet the requirements of the co-tutelle PhD, the defence commenced with a 50 minute presentation – followed by 20-30 minutes of questioning by each examiner in turn.
UNEP have put together a video explaining the work of the UNEP panels that assess ozone depletion, UV-B radiation and their interaction with climate change.
In late September, the UNEP Environmental Effects Assessment Panel met in Alexandra, New Zealand, home of Richard McKenzie, for our annual assessment of new research into the environmental effects of ozone depletion, UV radiation, and their implications with respect to climate change.
This year Janet Bornman, Paul Barnes, Carlos Ballaré, Sharon Robinson and myself were particularly tasked with understanding how plant-level effects on biodiversity and key ecological processes scale-up to the ecosystem level. We also focussed on crosscutting themes affecting not only terrestrial ecosystems, but mankind and the entire global environment.
The capacity for us to address ozone depletion through the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol, which limited the production of ozone depleting chemicals, can be seen as a flagship example of our capacity to address global environmental problems through concerted international action. In this respect, one of the panel’s responsibilities in future reports will be to provide quantitative comparisons of how our environment differs today from what it would have looked like without the Montreal Protocol.
Congratulations to Twinkle Solanki who has received a year’s grant from the Herlin Foundation to continue her PhD “Improving estimates of carbon assimilation and light use by forests by scaling processes from the leaf to canopy levels”.
This means that all of our CanSEE PhD students have obtained competitive funding now for their doctoral work: Saara Hartikainen (Academy of Finland); Craig Brelsford (Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences of the University of Helsinki); Marta Pieriste (Region of Normandy); David Israel (Finnish Cultural Foundation) and Twinkle Solanki (Herlin Foundation), as well as post doc Titta Kotilainen (Academy of Finland, Key Funding).