The award ceremony took place on May 10, in Rome. The Academy highly appreciated the contribution of Riccardo Valentini to the development of biogeochemistry research of forest ecosystems, metabolism and energy in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems, and analysis and modeling of climate change. At the turn of the century, when the issues of global climate change became particularly relevant, R. Valentini headed the largest projects of research on greenhouse gas flows in Europe, Africa, the USA: EURASIA-NET, CARBOEUROFLUX, CARBOEUROPE, CARBOAFRICA and CLIMAFRICA. In the late 90's, he became one of the initiators of the global monitoring network FLUXNET, the data of which are still the base of forecasting climate change on the planet. In 2005, R. Valentini became one of the founders of the Mediterranean Climate Change Center - currently the largest center of applied research in the field of adaptation of ecosystems to global changes in Western and Southern Europe. In 2007, for scientific achievements R. Valentini was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and in 2015 - the Ernst Haeckel Prize of the Federation of European Environmental Associations, considered the most prestigious scientific award in the field of ecology. According to "Thomson Reuters" R. Valentini is one of the most quoted scientists in the world (188 publications in Scopus and WoS, H-index 59). At present R. Valentini continues active research work at the laboratory “Smart Technologies for Sustainable Development of the Urban Environment in the Conditions of Global Change”, elaborating a network of high-frequency monitoring of the state of green plantations “Smart Urban Trees”, whish is due to be tested in experimental sites in Moscow already this year.
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.
Biochemists from RUDN University determined which substances in peach leaves provide the antioxidant effect their extract has. They investigated the composition of the powders obtained from leaves of several varieties of peach and found that high polyphenol content correlates with antioxidant properties. The results will help start production of antioxidants from natural sources.