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AIAS Fellow Yonghui Zeng receives Villum Experiment grant

The DKK 2 mill grant is awarded to Zeng for his project ‘Searching for Photosynthetic Archaea in Arctic Permafrost’ by the Velux Foundation in support of unorthodox research ideas.

Photo: Yonghui Zeng (by Maria Randima).

This week the Velux Foundation has supported 38 researchers with DKK 70 mill for their unorthodox and potentially groundbreaking experiments. Among these 38 researchers is current AIAS Fellow, Associate Prof. Yonghui Zeng, but also AIAS Former Fellow Toke Thomas Høye is among the group of happy grant recipients. Høye is awarded the grant for his project ‘Automatic Insect Detection (AID)’. 

The Velux Foundation’s new VILLUM Experiment grant supports the unique research idea that challenges the norm and has the potential to fundamentally change the way we approach important topics. All 38 research experiments share a fundamental element of innovation - and a technical and scientific background. 

With the grant of DKK 1,997,547, Yonghui Zeng’s project will run from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2019 and will offer one postdoc position. 

More about Yonghui Zeng’s project

Project title
'Searching for Photosynthetic Archaea in Arctic Permafrost'

The early evolution of photosynthesis remains a long-standing enigma. Among the three domains of life, it has been well established that photosynthesis first evolved in Bacteria billions of years ago and later spread into Eukarya, whereas all members of Archaea are thought to lack the photosynthetic capability, without any plausible explanations. Here we aim to challenge this notion by proposing that photosynthesis instead first evolved in more primitive Archaea and that such photosynthetic archaeal cells are still preserved in ecosystems of modern cryosphere awaiting discovery. 

More about the VILLUM Experiment Funding scheme



Yonghui Zeng, Associate Prof., AIAS Fellow
Phone: + 4587153776
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B
Building 1630, 310
8000 Aarhus C