Big grant to a Baltic Sea Fellow

One of our Baltic Sea Fellows, Wei-Li Hong from the Department of Geological Sciences, today got a prestigious award from the Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant. We are very proud, says Christoph Humborg, scientific leader at the Baltic Sea Centre and coordinator of the Baltic Fellows interdisciplinary network of young Baltic Sea researchers.

Wei Li Hong. Foto: Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse.

Wei-Li Hong was one of many young researchers competing for start-up grants from the European Research Council ERC. The competition is fierce and even researchers in the highest ranked group fall on the finish line. In order to capture such research talents, a few are offered a new chance for funding nationally, from the Swedish Foundations Starting Grant. One of this years lucky two was Wei-Li Hong.

– This grant is definitely a step up in my career, providing me the resources and freedom to study what I am genuinely interested in, which is a great privilege, Wei-Li says.

Elucidate a fundamental process

The project title is Silicate alteration in marine sediments: Rate, pathway, and significance. It is research about how silicate, one of Earth’s most common minerals, can neutralise carbon dioxide. These silicates have slowly and quietly been regulating the amounts of carbon dioxide on our planet for billions of years. Surprisingly, we do not know much about the chemistry behind it all. This is especially true for silicates at the bottoms of our oceans, one of the largest pools.

With this project, Wei Li Hong sets out to mimic harsh deep sea conditions in the lab at Stockholm University. In a unique experimental set up with over hundreds of atmospheric pressures at sub zero temperature he will study how marine silicates aid in neutralising carbon dioxide.

– Particularly important this is my topic of choice, primarily curiosity driven and associated with high risks. I am grateful for the trust given by Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse. This makes me more confident in pursuing a similar topic in the future, Wei-Li concludes.

Read more about Wei-Li Hongs research

Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant

The grant to Wei-Li Hong was provided by Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse