Network Training Event 4, Azerbaijan, Baku. April 25 - May 1, 2016.

Beginning on April 25 and lasting until May 1, 2016 the PRIDE follow-up meeting took place in Baku for the Network Training Event (NTE) 4. During NTE 4, Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), together with local students from Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry learned about Advanced Geological Field techniques in the Caspian Region. The theme of the week was “Pontocaspian Rise in the Caspian Sea”. With the guidance provided by the PRIDE supervisors and the assistance of partners from Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, ESRs gained understanding on how, when and why the Pontocaspian speceis entered the Caspian Sea and how the fauna evolved through time. ESRs and students from the local institutions did the hands-on geological exercises by which they created their own geological maps and defined the geological boundaries. Later, the geological observations were converted to paleoenvironmental models. Particular attention was also paid to setting up a successful field sampling campaign practices, and doing the field observations relevant to the collaborative research questions, and taking and recording measurements in the field.

One of the days of the training event was devoted to a conference at the Geological Institute of Azerbaijan. During the conference several ESRs, PRIDE supervisors and partners from the Geological Institute presented about their research in the region. Besides the geological program, the NTE 4 involved several cultural stops for introducing ESRs to the ancient history of Azerbaijan.


Caspian Sea mini symposium

Research Group of Palaeoecology & Landscape Ecology
Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics
University of Amsterdam

Date: 01/04/2016
Time: 15:00-18:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park 904 
Registration: Contact Prof. dr. Henry Hooghiemstra or Dr. Carina Hoorn to book your place and receive location details

Frank Wesselingh & the PRIDE team
How high can you get? Mountain uplift driving diversification in Pontocaspian lakes before humans bring down the unique aquatic biota?

Christiaan van Baak
Mediterranean-Paratethys connectivity during the late Miocene to recent

– 16:00-16:15 tea/coffee break –

Keith Richards
Studies in Caspian palynology: Vegetation, climate and sea level change

Questions and discussion

Network Training Event 1 - Bucharest - October 11-24, 2015

From October 11 to 24, 2015 the first Network Training Event (NTE1) of the Drivers of Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise (PRIDE) program was held in Romania. The NTE1 consisted of two weeks of field work and evening lectures with the emphasis on geology and biology. The first week was geology oriented and took place in Buzau area. The second week had an emphasis on biological sampling techniques and involved field work on boats in Lake Razelm complex and in Black Sea. In between the two weeks a conference was held about the Pontocaspian lake system evolution and  the advantages of cross-disciplinary research.  

20-5-2015 Recruiting the ESRs

Three days, 29 hugely talented candidates from all over the world, 15 positions. The event to find the Early Stage Researchers that will make PRIDE.

From Australia to Germany, from Russia to Ethiopia, our candidates came from everywhere. Out of more than 300 applications we invited 30 very promising candidates for a three day event in Leiden.

On Wednesday night we had general introductory talks about the programme, but also what life as an ESR is like, followed by a joint dinner where candidates and supervisors could engage. On Thursday all candidates gave their talks and answered questions, followed again by a dinner. On Friday we had the interviews.

The outcome has been a success. We were able to fill 14 of the 15 positions straight away, and all candidates accepted. A beautiful start to an intensely connected network!

26-3-2015 The Kick-off

The first time all supervisors meet, engage and discuss how we will make the programme work! This feels as if we have started for real! 

This is us. Background from left to right: Oana Popa, Suzanne Leroy, Niels Raes, Rachel Flecker, Cynthia Crul, Salomon Kroonenberg, Luis Popa, Arjan Gittenberger, Thomas Wilke, Joy Singarayer, Marius Stoica. Foreground Wout Krijgsman and Frank Wesselingh. Not shown: Matthias Prange 

1-3-2015 The start of PRIDE

1-3-2015: The programme has officially started! After months of frantic negotiations with all institutes involved and the EU we can go now for the next four years.

On a Thursday early September a somewhat cryptic message occurred in my mailbox that more or less read as “We are inviting you to proceed with negotiations through the Participant Portal”. This was the starting point of six very intense months of transforming our application into the legal documents that are required to get the programme going. Jan-Willem Mantel and Frank Wesselingh worked very hard through the guidance of our EC-officer Giuliana Donini to get all institutes involved into the legal documents, a Grant Agreement and a Consortium Agreement.

So today the PRIDE programme is starting. Cynthia Crul takes up her work as programme manager. The first step is the advertisement of all 15 ESR positions, to attract the most talented young researchers that will make the programme and to organize the kick-off meeting. A great day to celebrate!