ERC Starting Grant for Dr Jasper de Goeij, IBED, UvA
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr Jasper de Goeij from the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, IBED, UvA. This individual grant, which is about 1.5 million euros, offers talented young researchers the opportunity to set up their own research team and pursue groundbreaking ideas.
Dr Jasper de Goeij has been awarded the ERC grant for the project "SPONGE ENGINE: Fast and Efficient Sponge Engines Drive and Modulate the Food Web of Reef Ecosystems".
Sponges, our oldest still living multicellular ancestors, function as an ‘engine’ that drives ecosystems like tropical coral reefs, but also within the deep, dark and icy waters of the deep sea. They efficiently soak up fuel and provide reef inhabitants with food. But how does this engine work? Are there different types of sponge engines? Which plants or animals provide the fuel and how do sponges drive the other reef organisms? In his search for answers to these questions, De Goeij will construct a completely new food web in which sponges – which have so far largely been neglected – are a key ecosystem player.