Northern Europe’s 5 Newest Grantees

Building on National Geographic’s legacy of
supporting exploration worldwide for more than a century, the Global
Exploration Fund establishes local support for Research, Conservation
and Exploration projects tied to regional networks. The grantees and
outcomes supported by the fund will benefit from National Geographic
media and outreach with support from a scientific advisory committee,
executive committee and regional partnerships.

The Global Exploration Fund – Northern Europe is
open to residents of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany,
Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the
United Kingdom and Ireland to work anywhere in the world. Applications
can be submitted in three categories: Research, Conservation, and Exploration.

From Middle America’s steaming volcanoes to England’s iconic Stonehenge- Northern European Grantees have got it covered. Check out our 5 new grants below, and get in touch with Emily Landis and Camilla Hansen for media inquiries and additional info.  Find our program online or search for projects on the NGS Exploration Portal.

What: New Study Concerning Jawed Vertebrates Promises Gripping Results
Who: Martin D. Brazeau,    DOB: 8/4/1981     Canada
       Working in: Mongolia/Asia    Ph.D.
Why: New data may reveal exceptionally preserved fossils that shed light on early jawed vertebrate evolution.
       Today’s jawed vertebrates comprise more than 99% of vertebrate diversity, including sharks, rays, bony fishes, and terrestrial animals. The origin of these species can ultimately be traced back to a single common ancestor that lived as much as 420 million years ago. Martin Brazeau plans to examine the following 60 million years during the time in which many key features of major vertebrate groups began to take shape.

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Photograph by Douglas Seifert, MSYS.

What: Looking at the Origins of Stonehenge’s Stones
Who: Michael G. Parker Pearson.   DOB: 6/26/1957  United Kingdom     
         Working in: United Kingdom     Ph.D.
Why: A geophysical survey could provide more insight into Stonehenge’s mysterious origin and purpose.
     Evidence that ‘bluestone’, a type of stone used to build Stonehenge, was carried about 180 miles from Wales to south central England could enhance our understanding of Stonehenge’s origins and purpose. Excavating the Welsh site should establish whether it’s the site of an early stone circle that was later dismantled and taken to Stonehenge’s current location. Michael Parker Pearson plans to investigate a new hypothesis that the bluestones were taken from the stone circle in Wales as an act of unification for the people of southern Britain.

24772.jpgPhotograph by Joe McNally/Sygma



What: Can Groundwater Patterns Predict Volcanic Eruptions?
Who: Stefanie Hautmann,   DOB: 11/13/1979    Germany  
      Working in:
British Dependent Territories/Middle America      Ph.D.
Why:
Monitoring system could improve eruption forecasting and help ensure
availability and security of water supply in volcanic regions.
       For
the first time, Stefanie Hautmann will combine geophysical data with
groundwater level data and volcanic explosion observations to create
computer models that will show how one occurrence affects the other.
Outcomes of the analysis will improve volcanic monitoring data in
threatened areas. 

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Photograph by James L. Amos.

What: Bringing Sharks and Marine Turtles Back to Madagascar        
Who: Frances Humber,  DOB:1/23/1981      United Kingdom  
          Working in: Madagascar, Africa       M.Sc.   
Why: Will help bring shark and marine turtle populations back to a healthy numbers in Madagascar.
      In
a place where sharks and marine turtles are heavily exploited by
traditional, artisanal and industrial fisheries, Frances Humber hopes to
generate media, education, and fisheries monitoring in Madagascar to
save a dying species. A severe lack of data, combined with very poor
awareness of shark and marine turtle conservation issues, currently
present a major hurdle to the development of management efforts to
protect these species at local or national levels.

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 Photograph by Joshua Lemon for National Geographic.

What: Determining the Age of the “Taung Child”, First Discovered Ape-Like Human Ancestor
Who: Philip J. Hopley,    DOB: 3/27/1977       United Kingdom    
       Working in: South Africa, Africa       Ph.D.
Why: A second look at the site where the “Taung Child” was found could determine the age of the first ape-like human ancestor.
    The
“Taung Child”, found in 1924 at the Buxton limestone quarry in South
Africa, is the first fossil found of an ape-like human ancestor in
Africa. A definitive example of a new species, Australopithecus
africanus, the child is buried in a limestone deposit called “tufa”,
dated at around 3.1 million years old. Philip Hopley hopes to determine
the exact date of the “Taung Child” as well as excavate the same
limestone quarry in search of additional fossil records.

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Photograph courtesy Brett Eloff and Lee Berger.

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