№ 159/2016 from May 18, 2016
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting a collaborative project on biodiversity research that is being coordinated at Freie Universität. The project is entitled "Bridging in Biodiversity Science." The participating scientists are based at Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Potsdam, Technische Universität Berlin, the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wild Life Research, the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). The grant amounts to six million euros. The projects began in March 2016 and will run through February 2019.
Traditionally research on biodiversity is conducted in various disciplines. The "Bridging in Biodiversity Science" project is embedded in the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Biodiversity Research (BBIB). According to Matthias C. Rillig, a biology professor at Freie Universität Berlin, the director of BBIB, and the coordinator of the new BMBF project, research on biodiversity both in Germany and abroad is largely fragmented in subdisciplines. As he says, "In Berlin we are using this project to create staffing and organization structures, so that we can increasingly overcome this fragmentation."
The overarching goal of BBIB is to bridge disciplines, scales, and systems in biodiversity research by integrating political and social sciences in the biological research. The project aims to create structures that also include a citizen science component to bridge science, policy makers, and citizens by supporting research and engaging and integrating the public.
The project combines an impressive breadth of biodiversity research in the greater Berlin region, where there is a unique abundance of outstanding research groups and experimental infrastructures as well as major global collections (Museum of Natural History, Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum). It combines the expertise of the universities and other project partners in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.