We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the recipients of VM grants and STSMs during Grant Period 4 of EUdaphobase. Their dedication and contributions have been instrumental in advancing the overarching goals of our COST Action, and we are truly grateful for their support.
- Lauren Snyder – Institute of Geobotany Hannover (Germany): Lauren Snyder received a VM grant to create a survey aimed at assessing the needs of stakeholders and end-users of soil health biodiversity data. This survey questionnaire, a crucial deliverable for Working Group 5, identifies the requirements of stakeholders and end-users concerned about soil management, soil protection, and soil biodiversity issues.
- Cristina Fiera – Institute of Biology Bucharest (Romania): Cristina Fiera utilized a VM grant to enrich EUdaphobase with data on often overlooked soil fauna groups known as Apterygota. Specifically, she contributed data from over 80 papers on Protura and 60 papers on Diplura, bolstering the EUdaphobase taxonomic backbone.
- Florine Degrune – CIRAD Montpellier (France) and Michael Bonkowski – Institut für Zoologie (Germany): Florine Degrune collaborated with Michael Bonkowski through an STSM to develop a comprehensive database on protist traits, complemented by a thesaurus. This STSM led to the encoding of 1851 trait values across 105 protist species, resulting in a valuable resource for protistan trait knowledge.
- Kristina Ocvirk – University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Paul Henning Krogh – Aarhus University (Denmark): Kristina Ocvirk partnered with Paul Henning Krogh through an STSM to facilitate the transfer of data from the EcoFINDERS EU FP7 research project to EUdaphobase. This collaboration not only expanded the data available in EUdaphobase but also supported Working Group 2 by establishing a protocol for importing a substantial dataset generated within EcoFINDERS.
- Rafaela Stagiopoulou – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece): Rafaela Stagiopoulou was awarded a VM grant to assist in the preparation of maps for inclusion in the ‘European Atlas of Soil Fauna.’ Her efforts directly contributed to Working Group 2’s goal of enhancing data collection, further enriching the EUdaphobase portal.
- Loulietta Eleftheria Samartza – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece): Loulietta Eleftheria Samartza used a VM grant to support various activities related to the collection, inspection, collation, and preparation of data for both the ‘European Atlas of Soil Fauna’ and EUdaphobase. Her contributions significantly advanced the objectives of Working Group 2 and the development of the Atlas.
- Yasmin Gomes de Sousa – University of Limerick (Ireland): Yasmin Gomes de Sousa received a VM grant to develop a manual for handling bacterial community data based on principal upload testing. Her work empowered the objectives of Working Group 7 by building capacity for bacterial data uploads.
- Marko Debeljak – Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia): Marko Debeljak, through a VM grant, conducted a review of available data on soil biodiversity in the Balkan Peninsula within EUdaphobase. His work aims to identify the reasons for the region’s underrepresentation in soil biodiversity data and propose measures to address this issue, ultimately improving data collection and presentation within EUdaphobase.
- Slodoban Stefanović – Faculty of Applied Ecology Futura of Belgrade (Serbia): Slodoban Stefanović, funded by a VM grant, is currently preparing and uploading data on true truffles (Tuber spp.) from Spain, Italy, and the Balkan Peninsula to the Edaphobase data warehouse. This endeavour enhances the awareness of truffle biodiversity data and enables stakeholders to utilize these data for evaluating and monitoring soil health.
- Radoslava Nikolić – Institute for Multidisciplinary Research of Belgrade (Serbia): Radoslava Nikolić is actively involved in preparing sets of data on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from Serbia and Switzerland for upload to the Edaphobase data warehouse. Thanks to the VM grant supporting this work, Edaphobase will receive its first data on fungi, contributing to the objectives of Working Group 7.
Lourdes Morillas Viñuales, EUdaphobase Grant Manager