The Center for Mathematical Modeling and Design of Sustainable Ecosystems, headed by RUDN professor Yakov Kuzyakov, prepared proposals for inclusion in the road map of cooperation between Russia and Germany in the field of education, science, research and innovation.
Among the priority topics are assessment of ecosystem services of urban soils and green infrastructure, smart technologies for sustainable development of megacities in the context of global climate change, biogeochemical cycles in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, development and application of remote sensing and high-frequency monitoring.
At the moment, the interaction between the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Design of Sustainable Ecosystems and German partners is realized on the basis of scientific groups, as well as students and academics mobility. Yakov Kuzyakov noted the promising forms for strengthening cooperation:
- opening of a laboratory for analysis and modeling of ecosystem services of urban soils;
- development and implementation of the joint international field summer school " Monitoring, modeling and management of urban soils and green infrastructure" in cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin;
- development and implementation of the international network program of the graduate program "Green infrastructure and Sustainable Development" in cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin (Prof. T. Nehls and G. Wessolek), the Free University of Berlin (Prof. M. Rillig) and the University of Getingen (Prof. Kuzyakova, Prof. E. Blagodatskaya);
- conducting research together with the Department of Chemistry and Pedology of Soil of the University of Hohenheim (34th place in QS World University Rankings ranking in "Agriculture and Forestry").
According to Yakov Kuzyakov, "the implementation of cooperation in these areas will significantly expand the range of the Center’s research, get new interesting scientific results and contribute to the promotion of the RUDN image both in Germany and in the whole of the international scientific community."
A chemist from RUDN University has developed a catalyst for the production of eugenol acetate, a substance that destroys the larvae of mosquitoes transmitting dangerous diseases, being a safe chemical for human health.
RUDN soil scientists have revealed a direct correlation between the rate of soil formation of carbon dioxide, called CO2 emissions, and the content of microbial biomass in it. It is known that CO2 emission from soil is mainly conditioned by respiration of soil microorganisms and plant roots. The more CO2 soil emits, the more microbial biomass it usually contains. It was shown that CO2 emission by chernozem of different ecosystems (or different types of land use) correlates with the content of microbial biomass, and most closely with the rate of its microbial respiration. And the soil with good microbial properties has the “best quality”, is more fertile, provides the highest yield of crops and other plant biomass.
A RUDN chemist has synthesized a catalyst for the production of gamma-valerolactone — an energy-intensive “green” biofuel. The catalyst based on zirconium dioxide and zeolite has shown high efficiency in converting the waste of wood plant materials — methyl levulinate — to gamma-valerolactone.