A biogeographical Approach to Species Selection for Restoration Projects in the Alpine and Atlantic regions of Europe

ESR 1A – Emma Ladouceur

I completed a Bachelor degree of Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University, a Certificate of Environmental Management from the University of Toronto and worked as an Environmental Planner for 5 years in the City of Toronto. In 2012, I completed an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia with the Margaret Mayfield Community Ecology Lab and conducted native grassland restoration treatment trials in central Queensland, Australia on a coal mine site. Since then I have worked with both University of Queensland school of geography, biology and the centre for mined land rehabilitation (CMLR) and with the Jennifer Firn research group at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in various roles including; full-time continuous field work, teaching, lab management, large project management, and research focused on grasslands restoration, weed invasion, mined land rehabilitation and monitoring. 

Traits-based prioritization of native species for restoring biodiversity in woody crops. A case study from Spanish olive orchards

ESR 2A - Stephanie Frischie

As a PhD student, I study native herbaceous species as cover crops to restore biodiversity in Mediterranean woody crops, specifically olive orchards in Spain.  We use traits to determine the suitability of species for cultivated seed production and for ecological fit to olive orchards.Broadly, my professional mission is to play a role in increasing the area of resilient land.  This can be done through restoration and stewardship, fundraising, policy advocacy, seed production, education and the research which supports these activities.  Seeds are plants too and are a very key part of restoring vibrant natural communities and their ecosystem services.

Seed and seedling phenomics: mountain legumes of the genera Astragalus and Oxytropis

ESR 3A – Erica Dello Jacovo

I followed my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at University of Rome “La Sapienza” and my MSc in Environmental Biology and Biodiversity at Pavia’s University. During my MSc I considered important to develop my knowledge on field research and studying abroad, as to depth my skills on both these topics and to gain a complete focus on what Environmental Biology researches deals with. Therefore I conducted an apprenticeship on marmot’s behaviour at the National Park of Gran Paradiso (Italy) and I applied for an Erasmus scholarship of 10 months in Granada (Spain), where I discovered the importance to experiment a different culture and different approaches on studying and making investigations. Once completed my MSc I started and completed an internship of 3 months in Uppsala (Sweden). Throughout those years my attention was focused on environmental and ecological subjects.

A comparative germination study among different alpine habitats and provenances (Italy and Spain)

ESR 4B – Maria Tudela Isanta

I got my graduation in Biotechnology at the “Universitat de Barcelona” mentions in Agroalimentary industry and I made a master in “Enviormental and Agrobiology” at the “Euskal Herria Unibertsitatea”. Currently, my PHd just started at Pavia University and it is based on seed dormancy. During my bachelor I had the opportunity of going to Leiden University where I had the I nitial T raining N etwork NASSTEC Newsletter, issue 1 October 2014 9 chance to discover the research moreover and I had the opportunity of knowing a new culture, country and method of working, which encourage me to starting a research career. While studying I had the opportunity of collaborate with some research in seed longevity of Brassica rapa and Brassica napus supervised by Dr. Tom de Jong and Dra. Elsse Hesse. This internship was my first experience with seed research, in which we found a relation between morphological and physiological characters, such as thickness of the seedcoat, glucosinolates contents, etc. with seed longevity.

Germination characterization, establishment from seeds and plant development of native Mediterranean grasses for ground covers in olive groves

ESR 5B –Matías Hernández González

I completed a BSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of Granada and a MSc in Agroecology at the University of Miguel Hernandez. As part of my placement in a Biosphere Reserve office I designed a project about the use of native plants in ecosystem restoration and gardening. During my work as an environmental consultant, I compiled a guide of best management practices of organic vineyards in Lanzarote (Canary Islands) and collaborated with WWF in the project “Un brindis por la tierra”, a manual of best management practices in vineyards for Spain. My area of interest is cover crops in woody crops. As part of my Master’s dissertation, I did a preliminary study of two different types of cover crops, using traditional cultivars of cereals and legumes, and their influence on several chemical and physical properties of the soil in a vineyard.

Seed longevity in storage of alpine species

ESR 6B – Malaka Wijayasinghe

I graduated from University of Peradeniya and obtained a special degree in Biology. Soon after my graduation I got the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Zoology at the University of Peradeniya for a one year. In 2012 I was selected for a studentship to read for an M.Phil. degree in Seed Ecology and focus of my research was on seed dormancy, germination and storage behavior of selected (30 species) true mangrove and mangrove associate plants in Sri Lanka. I could identified five different classes of dormancy (ND, PY, PD, MPD and epicotyl dormancy) in seeds of mangrove plant species. And also my study focused on the hydrotime modeling of five selected Mangrove species. This study was the first community level study in seed ecology of mangroves and the findings of the study will help to restore and conserve the mangroves in future.

Life history traits in contrasting environments - intraspecies variation in stress tolerance

ESR 7B – António da Costa Teixeira

I concluded my BSc in Aplied Biology and the MSc in Plant Molecular Biology and Biothecnology in the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal. The BSc research project was fucosed in the enzimatic activities of DHAPS in grape berry cells cv Cabenet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera). In the following years I kept my interest in Plant Biology, in particular in Viticulture. My master dissertation aimed to evaluate how edaphoclimatic conditions affect the metabolomic profile of the grapes (cv Alvarinho, Arinto and Padeiro Basto) from three Portuguese varieties from distinct ampelographic collections. This work result in two publications. Also during the master years I had the oportunity to colaborate in another project that comprise the understanding of the effect of copper-based fungicides in the composition of grape berries cv. Vinhão(Vitis vinifera) and wine, studying the mechanisms involved in I nitial T raining N etwork NASSTEC Newsletter, issue 1 October 2014 13 the accumulation and detoxification of copper in grape cells.

Improving seed quality in large-scale production of native seed

ESR 8C –Maria Marin

Improving seed quality in the large scale production of native seeds by establishing achievable quality standards is the final goal of my project. I am based in Scotland, at Scotia Seeds, the leading UK company in developing and improving the quality of native seeds used in habitat creation and restoration projects. The company is in a unique position having a technical capacity to carry out seed science linked directly to production in collecting, crop growing, harvesting, processing and storage.Despite increased commercial seed production, there has been little work to establish quality testing of native seeds. There are neither regulatory levels nor industry standards.

Comparative seed biology of deep shade forest herbs: exploring evolutionary and ecological aspects of seed germination and seedling establishment for the development of predictive models to support woodland restoration

ESR 9C - Cristina Blandino

I completed a Bachelor's in Natural Sciences at Palermo University (Italy) and I have a  MSc  in Biodiversity and Nature Conservation from the University of Siena (Italy). During the MSc I won an Erasmus grant that enable me  to spend 10 months in Tenerife (Spain)  writing a dissertation on the effects of biotic homogenization on oceanic islands. Then for two years I gained valuable work experience  with different research institutions and environmental NGOs across Europe, through internships and volunteering positions. To this point my main research interests were paleobotany, island biogeography and invasive species ecology, but I always developed strong interests in forest ecology and conservation.

Seed pre-treatments of native species for optimal establishment in in-situ restoration programmes

ESR 10C - Laura López del Egido

About myself - I have always been interested in working on plant ecology with a view towards applying that science in conservation and restoration projects. Because of that, I became very interested in the NASSTEC project.I completed my Honours Degree in Biology at the University Autonoma de Barcelona. During the third year of my degree course I started my first internship at the Plant Physiology Department (UAB), in collaboration with the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics. My project was focused on the resistance of rice (Oryza sativa) and some species of clover (Trifolium spp.) to the heavy metal antimony in hydroponic cultures.After that, I started a second internship, at the James Hutton Institute (JHI), in Scotland with a focus on functional ecology of legumes and their symbionts.

Using current regulations and practices to develop a certification scheme for native seed production in Europe

ESR 11C - Holly Abbandonato

I fell in love with plants at a young age, and have spent my life immersed in everything plants, from gardening, hiking, photography, aromatherapy, etc. I completed Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources, a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Bachelor of Anthropology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. I completed a Masters Degree in Biology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Transfer of NASSTEC knowledge to European seed producers

ER 12C - Marcello De Vitis

Among the main aims of the NASSTEC project there is the improvement of the connection and the collaboration between academia and industry for the successful achievement of common goals regarding the large scale production of high quality native seeds, and my role plays a part in this challenge. My background, mainly academic, is on conservation of native plant species, with a specific interest in seed science and its application to species reintroduction and habitat restoration. In fact, during the last eight years, I have trained in and collaborated with Italian and UK germplasm banks (the Germplasm Bank of the Botanical Garden of Rome, the Tuscia Germplasm Bank, and the Millennium Seed Bank) to investigate the germination requirements of endangered species both in lab and in the field.