The Reporter
ssue 492, 29 September 2003
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SRIF makes LIGHT work and gives go ahead for Dales centre

 

Upper Wharfedale, where the new Dales centre will be located

Upper Wharfedale, where the Dales research centre will be located

The Yorkshire Dales is to become home to a major environmental research station, in a project led by ecologists and geographers from the University. The International Centre for Biodiversity and Sustainability, one of nine new projects funded in the second round of the Government’s science research infrastructure fund (SRIF), promises to become a national centre of excellence in environmental research.

The new research station will foster collaboration among ecologists, geographers and hydrologists on projects ranging from the biological impacts of climate change, through studies of catchment dynamics and flooding, to the behaviour and conservation of anything from bats to bumblebees.

“This interdisciplinary emphasis makes the project unique,” said project leader Professor Chris Thomas. “It will provide much-needed access to field sites for University researchers, and be used by scientists from other universities and agencies, such as English Nature, the Environment Agency and the Dales Park Authority.”

Inspiration for the centre came in part from the Rocky Mountain Biological Research Station in the USA, which grew from humble beginnings into an internationally recognised institution hosting ecologists from around the world. The team behind the Dales project is confident that the centre will grow to rival its American counterpart, by building on the strong environmental and ecological research for which Leeds already has an international reputation.

~ Eight other centres are to be set up at Leeds with the £25.5m SRIF grant, in the fields of health sciences, membrane biology, bionanoscience, visual communications, law and policy development in Europe, Indian and South Asian studies, terahertz photonics, analytical chemistry and astrophysics. The money will also be used to refurbish laboratories, support new interdisciplinary research and complete developments started with the SRIF award in 2001. Developments will start in April 2004 and be completed by March 2006.

For more information on the other SRIF projects see http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/current/small_things.htm and look out for articles in future Reporters.

An artist's impression of the new LIGHT buildingWork has now begun on the Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics (LIGHT) funded in the first round of SRIF. The Institute will be a cross faculty, multi-disciplinary, state-of-the-art research centre looking at diseases at the molecular level, and enabling a rapid transfer of knowledge between research and treatment.

An artist's impression of the new LIGHT building

LIGHT will occupy a new four-storey building between the Worsley building and the generating station and is due to be completed in late 2004.

 

 
 


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