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Two Villum Experiment grants to AIAS Former Fellows

AIAS Former Fellows Shubiao Wu (Acroecology) and Magnus Kjærgaard (Molecular Biology and Genetics) have each received a DKK 2 million grant by the Villum Experiment programme that reward scientists who question conventional thinking.

Photo: Shubiao Wu (Acroecology) and Magnus Kjærgaard (Molecular Biology and Genetics) from Aarhus University. Credit: AU Photo.

The Villum Foundation has selected 51 innovative research projects to receive funding as part of the Villum Experiment programme where projects are judged solely on whether they challenge the norm and have the potential to change the world and our knowledge of it. Two AIAS Former Fellows, Shubiao Wu and Magnus Kjærgaard have been awarded with a grant for their unconventional thinking and ideas.

AIAS Former Fellow Shubiao Wu now associate professor at the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University has been awarded a Villum Experiment grant of DKK 1,9 million for his work on wetlands, specifically for the project entitled ‘A novel microbial pathway towards simultaneous mitigation of N2O and CH4 in wetlands.’

For the second time AIAS Former Fellow Magnus Kjærgaard from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University receives a Villum Experiment grant of DKK 2 million, this time for his project on ‘Oxygen-free biosynthesis in microbial cell factories.’

About Shubiao Wu’s project

Wetlands are the world’s largest natural source of methane, accounting for ~20–40% of the global annual methane flux. However, approximately 50% of the methane produced in wetlands is oxidized before it reaches the atmosphere, either aerobically or anaerobically. In recent decades, the intensive use of fertilizers in agriculture has significantly increased anthropogenic nitrogen input into freshwater wetlands, complicating microbial methane oxidation pathways.

Given the pressing need to alleviate the greenhouse effect, this project is targeting to identify and quantify novel microbial pathways for the simultaneous mitigation of methane and nitrous oxide. The results would contribute significantly to a unique link between the two major global cycles of carbon and nitrogen.

About Villum Experiment

The Villum Experiment programme funds exceptional research projects in the technical and natural sciences that challenge norms and have the potential to fundamentally alter our approach to key questions.

The applicants are anonymous to the international panel of peer reviewers, which allows them to focus on the research proposal alone and give researchers freedom of scope in relation to their current academic standing.

This programme is advertised annually in an open competitive call for proposals. The grant is worth up to DKK 2 million and runs for a period of up to two years.

Read more about Villum Experiment here   


Shubiao Wu, Associate Professor, AIAS Fellow 2017-2020
Mobile: +45 52820772
Email: wushubiao@agro.au.dk

Department of Agroecology
Aarhus University
Blichers Allé 20
DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark   

Magnus Kjærgaard, Associate Professor, AIAS Fellow 2016-2019
Email: magnus@mbg.au.dk

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Neurobiology
Aarhus University