Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-03-01 - 2027-02-28

SoilRise aims to extent expertise and knowledge on soil biota in academic and public networks as a basis of utilisation of citizen science in monitoring duties below ground. Biodiversity monitoring is mostly limited by missing expertise, money and time. Belowground biota is even harder to describe, count, or characterize due to its cryptic mode of life. However, soil biota is crucial for the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems including land use systems. Sustainable land use relays on ecosystem service provisioning of soil biota. Hence, monitoring is of great importance. SoilRise will create a system of teachers training to multiply knowledge and expertise among gardeners and farmers which will be enabled to monitor parts of soil biota to a certain level of taxonomy, activity, or functional diversity. SoilRise will start and exemplify this for earthworm communities in farmland (arable or grassland) and urban gardens and greens. Finally addressing networks of urban gardeners and farmers associations, SoilRise will develop a multiplication of expertise by implementing earthworm monitoring practises into teaching at universities and even farm schools. Students then go to their home rural communities (farmer associations) or stage citizen science events in urban gardens related to gardener networks. In the long run, well educated citizen can provide earthworm monitoring data of high value complementing biodiversity monitoring in the cultural landscape of Europe
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-10-01 - 2026-09-30

With the intensification of agriculture, the resilience of production systems decreases and ecosystem services are lost. In Austria, this intensification leads to a simplified crop rotation with the three most commonly used crops winter wheat, winter barley and grain maize, which account for 41% of the cultivated area. On the other hand, diverse crop systems can increase yield stability and soil fertility by preserving soil fauna. One way to increase crop diversity is to use companion cropping. Companion crops are grown along with the main crop in a mixture and provide soil cover, nutrient delivery, and can reduce dependence on nitrogen fertilizers. However, increasing spring drought can lead to competition for water resources and yield losses, which will be exacerbated by climate change. The development of adapted production measures, such as the choice of companion crops (frost-killed or winter-hardy), seeding rates and fertilizer management are of particular interest to the agricultural sector with the background knowledge of the possible water competition and the current fertilizer costs. For this purpose, a 3-year field trial is being conducted at the experimental farm of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in Gross-Enzersdorf.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2013-02-04 - 2013-03-01

The intend of the cooperation between the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and Pioneer is to provide a technical training Pioneer research staff for Eastern Europe. The training is being designed for University graduates (MSc. or BSc.) to prepare them for specific need executing world class Science in plant breeding and field testing focused on corn and sunflower. As there is almost no University or Institute training arranged anymore almost all Associates, Senior Research Associates or Scientists should go through this introductory training.