March: a month with many UN days.

Published: 2023-03-31

In our March blog we continue highlighting IFS grantees doing research on topics related to several of this month’s UN International Days. The month of March has a couple of UN days that cover aspects that our grantees are working on. Of these we picked three days that are of particular importance to many of our grantees, who  enthusiastically are committed to contribute significantly to  scientific advancement worldwide.

March has been a month full of important days to highlight! It started off with World Wildlife Day on March 3. In our social media accounts, we highlighted IFS grantee Dr Kanishka Ukuwela, Senior Zoology Lecturer at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.

Dr Kanishka Ukuwela

His research project "Diversity and conservation of the little-known lizard fauna (Scincidae and Gekkonidae) of Sri Lanka" aims to learn more about skinks and geckoes in Sri Lanka and evaluate the threats and their conservation status to develop management strategies for their protection. Kanishka just published results from his IFS sponsored project. The publication can be found here!

Dr Alejandra Domic Rivadeneira

For International Women’s Day, 8th of March, IFS grantee Dr Alejandra Domic Rivadeneira was asked to write a bit about her IFS project:

“I am interested in understanding how tropical ecosystems over time are affected by climate change and by people. I study how climatic variability and humans have impacted ecosystems over a short- (decades) and long-term scales (centuries and thousands of years) and ecosystems resiliency to disturbance. The information contributes with a palaeoecological outlook into an ecological problem that is critical for understanding not only how tropical ecosystems responded to changes in climatic conditions and habitat transformation over time, but also bear on modern issues of how both vegetation and human societies will respond to the intensification of extreme climatic events.

Funding from IFS was fundamental for my formation as a woman scientist. I received my first grant during my dissertation, which helped me conduct field work in the Andean highlands of Bolivia to determine how human activities impact the regeneration of forests. My second grant supported me in continuing research in the Andean region by assessing how vegetation has changed over millennia and the role of fire, pastoralism, and changes in precipitation.”

We also drew attention to our Women in Science Public Contact List initiative. This contact list intends to encourage networking, and foster peer-to-peer mentoring. It was created to promote the visibility of IFS women grantees, but we welcome all women in science to join the list!

“A healthy forest needs healthy soil!”, our message on the International Forest Day when IFS grantee Dr Mariama Ngom’s research was presented

Dr Mariama Ngom’

Her research project focuses on fast-growing nitrogen-fixing trees belonging to the Casuarinaceae family, which can colonize disturbed soils and increase their fertility. This helps counter arable land degradation, a global environmental issue with devastating consequences for food production and human well-being.

World Water Day, March 22nd, was this year about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis. IFS grantee Dr Wilson Anku's research project "InoTechWater: Innovative and Low-cost Technology for Fluoride Removal from Water" intends to improve access to safe water for communities by treating fluoride-contaminated groundwater in Ghana.Dr Wilson Anku

The project develops a simple, efficient and cost-effective water treatment technology for household and community use.

At the IFS office we are working on as always, looking forward to a spring that we all hope will soon enter this, at the moment, very cold country. For the mean time we are sending you all snowy (but today also sunny) greetings from the IFS team in Stockholm!




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