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Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies (BrIAS)

"Eat like an Egyptianand “"Food for plants - waste for food?"

The first BrIAS talks will take place on May 10th and 12nd 2021

We are very pleased to announce the very first BrIAS Talks around the interdisciplinary theme of "The past, present and future of food, climate and sustainability".

Two seminars (BrIAS Talks) will introduce this first theme. They will be presented by members of FOST (Social and Cultural Food Studies - VUB) and CPBL (Crop Production and Biostimulation Laboratory - ULB).

Both talks will be an opportunity for a dialogue between the two research teams and the public. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the talks. The seminars will be held via Teams. Just click on the title to join.

Cereals and pulses have been important staples in most human diets since the Neolithic. Despite being recognized as energy suppliers in the diet, their nutritional appraisal by historians has been rather grim, as they have long been held responsible for the alleged poor nutritional status of the Romans. This talk challenges this view and presents new nutritional evidence from a unique collection of perfectly preserved archaeological plant remains from the Greco-Roman town of Karanis in Egypt.

Plant mineral nutrition underpins global food security. Plant breeding has delivered substantial productivity gains by developing high-yielding crop varieties but requiring high input, hence negatively impacting the environment. Today, a pivotal success is the creation of so-called ‘smart’ crop varieties, which yield more with fewer soil resources and protection products. Majority of plant-food waste is composed by indigestible parts for humans, with no direct nutritional value. There is a better end for food waste than throwing away. Bio-based green technologies, such as biocatalysis, are used to transform waste biomass into high-value nutritional molecules like oligosaccharides prebiotics, plant stimulant and biopesticides, biomaterials, and finally biofuels. How sunlight can improve the sustainability of these processes by boosting the enzymatic reactions (photobiocatalysis)?

About BRIAS … Institutes for Advanced Studies, IASs, are incubators of ideas, with no philosophical or political restriction, where some of the very best scientists, artists or designers, coming from various fields and countries, are given the opportunity to work in an atmosphere of complete freedom, collaboration, mutual emulation and cross-fertilisation.

Despite a considerable number of internationally acclaimed university laboratories, there was no IAS in Brussels or Belgium as of yet. The authorities of ULB and VUB have therefore decided to create a Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies (BrIAS) as a joint initiative.

Nouveau projet ERA-NET avril 2021 - mars 2024

Renforcer et améliorer la résilience des cultures C4 face aux adversités actuelles et futures du changement climatique (C4FUTURE)

SusCrop est une action de cofinancement ERA-Net qui s’intéresse à la production agricole durable. Dans ce cadre, le CPBL coordonne C4FUTURE, un consortium avec six partenaires de d’Allemagne, de Belgique, du Danemark, de France, d'Italie et de Turquie.

C4FUTURE exploite la variation naturelle offerte par des panels de diversité du maïs et du sorgho pour améliorer l'adaptation à la carence en azote et à la sécheresse, qui constituent déjà des contraintes majeures sur la productivité des cultures et devraient s'accentuer en raison du changement climatique. Un aspect important de ce projet est le phénotypage in situ des collections génétiques sous diverses combinaisons de stress sur quatre sites méditerranéens, représentant un gradient climatique. Le phénotypage des racines et des parties aériennes, la collecte de données phénomiques intégratives, la biologie des systèmes et les approches de cartographie du génome seront utilisés pour identifier les gènes candidats impliqués dans la réponse de ces cultures face aux conditions de stress.

Les résultats fourniront des informations sur l'adaptation des céréales C4 au changement climatique et faciliteront les stratégies d'amélioration et de gestion des cultures, augmentant ainsi la durabilité des cultures et la sécurité alimentaire.


  • Nouveaux membres :

Postdoctoral fellow - F.R.S.-FNRS project, 04-2021 > 03-2024
Dr Claudia CHIODI
Postdocotral fellow - F.R.S.-FNRS project ,04-2021 > 12-2022
Dr Taraka Ramji MOTURU
Postdocotral fellow - Wallonie Bruxelles International, 11-2020 > 10-2022

Mis à jour le 13 juillet 2021