Alessio Rovere at fieldwork (Photo: ZMT)

31.07.2018 | Marine researcher Alessio Rovere is funded by the European Research Council for his research project “WARMCOASTS -Sea Level and Extreme Waves in the Last Interglacial”. Rovere is the head of the bridge group "Sea Level and Coastal Changes", which is located at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) and the MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. From 2019, his research will be funded with almost 1.5 million Euro over five years.

In the field of climate research, the last interglacial period, which occurred between about 128,000 and 116,000 years ago, is often used for comparison to present conditions. This was the last time in the Earth’s history that the climate was warmer than in preindustrial times. Both sea level and temperatures were higher than today, and the ice sheets were smaller. How will temperatures, sea level, and the extent of ice sheets change in the future? Scientists, including Alessio Rovere, believe that the answers lie in understanding the conditions during the last interglacial – and their significance.

 “In this project we want to use a variety of multidisciplinary methods to study sea level, its fluctuations, and extreme waves during the last interglacial,” explains Alessio Rovere. He wants to apply the grant money toward recruiting outstanding young scientists to create a reliable global database of sea level and wave proxies for the last interglacial, and to survey new field areas with advanced modelling and measurement techniques.

“The results of this project,” Alessio Rovere is confident, “will contribute to a better understanding of coastal processes under somewhat warmer climate conditions. I am honored that the ERC considered my work for this prestigious award.” He also views the ERC Starting Grant as an indication of the relevance of his work in recent years.

About the ERC Starting Grant

This year, the ERC Starting Grant, for which 3170 applications were submitted from throughout Europe, was awarded to 403 young top researchers. The European Research Council awarded a total of 603 million Euros to the scientists. The objective of the awards is to enable the recipients to independently realize their own research goals with the help of their teams. Within a time frame of five years, pure basic research is supported at a maximum level of 1.5 million Euros per award.