Current Funded Projects

Search 2018 - 2020
e.g. Topological OR data; environments AND data

Are Election Campaigns Good for Democracy? An Assessment of the 2022 French Presidential Election

This project will assess whether election campaigns are good for democracy. We will do so by testing whether voters learn the candidates' policy positions in the 2022 French presidential election. We will then ascertain whether voters who learn the candidates' positions shift their votes to candidates who share their preferences. We will also determine whether they adopt their preferred candidates' positions as their own.

Biogeophysics for Climate Resilient Viticulture

The France-Berkeley Fund will provide the catalyst to establish a multi-institutional collaboration on a frontier topic that is of great interest to Berkeley and France but that requires multidisciplinary scientific expertise to accelerate. The proposed project brings together 7 established scientists from 5 Berkeley/Bordeaux institutions (Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, Bordeaux INP, Bordeaux Science Agro, INRAE French National Institute of Agriculture), each having world-recognized expertise in environmental geophysics, soil-plant microbial ecology, soil physics, or viticulture.

Counter-hegemonic narratives in European metropolis: heritage, identities, space

This project will investigate counter narratives of colonialism in heritages tours in four major cities across Western Europe: Bordeaux, Barcelona, Edinburgh and Lisbon. Focusing on walking tours of geographic spaces associated with slavery, we examine how black and multi-racial populations challenge the dominant representation of Europe as having no legacies of slavery or racism.

Crossroads of Knowledge: the Republic of Letters and the First Globalization (17th-18th centuries)

Drawing on the combined expertise of faculty and graduate students in the humanities at UC Berkeley and the University of Strasbourg, the project studies the "crossroads of knowledge" (carrefours des savoirs) that connected the Republic of Letters in the age of the first globalization. Moving away from the traditional focus on capital cities, we turn our attention to smaller "contact zones," such as ports and frontier towns that enabled the circulation knowledge across linguistic, cultural and religious barriers.

Documentation and Knowledge Infrastructure: The Case of Robert Pagès

There was a golden period of innovation in the organization of recorded knowledge ("documentation") in France immediately after 1945 but now largely forgotten. This project will advance research on this activity by making original sources more accessible, with the application of existing digital humanities techniques, and through lectures and workshops. We will focus on ideas and writings of Robert Pagès, documentalist and social psychologist, 1919-2007.

Drug repurposing to combat a global bacterial zoonosis

Our project aims to evaluate a new drug to treat brucellosis, an infectious disease transmissible to humans by certain domestic animals (cows or goats). This debilitating disease affects around 1 million new people each year. The advantage of this candidate drug is that it is already being used to treat another disease, which would significantly reduce the costs and validation time to be able to use it to control brucellosis.

Examining Nutritional Therapies in Medical Education

This project aims to analyze how medical schools can better educate new generations of health professionals in preventive medicine and nutrition. This research project will analyze the role of nutritional knowledge. We suggest that social science analysis may facilitate the integration of nutrition within biomedicine in the maintenance of health and wellbeing.

Genetic, genomic, and functional evolution of genes encoding viral-interacting proteins in great apes

We propose a collaborative and integrative approach to identify and characterize selective signatures indicative of host-pathogen evolutionary conflict in diverse human and great ape populations and species. The Sudmant lab has extensive expertise in genomics and genetics and the Etienne Lab is expert in virus-host interaction and coevolution. Thus, collaboratively our groups are uniquely poised to address the critical scientific questions surrounding the adaptation of great apes to viral infection.

High-temperature molten salt studies

This project is motivated by the pressing questions of sustainability, energy, and the environment. Molten salt nuclear reactors have the potential to provide a carbon-free source of electricity. Our collaboration will investigate the performance of reference electrodes for fluoride salts, and the relationship between fluoroacidity and the activity coefficient of solutes in the molten fluoride salts.

How can mentorship boost aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Most entrepreneurs are men. Using a large-scale field experiment, our project focuses on addressing the root causes of gender inequality in early-stage entrepreneurship. We experimentally test whether matching aspiring to established entrepreneurs can help fuel the entrepreneurial pipeline, and whether it can help decrease the gender gap in entrepreneurship. We consider this gap to be one of today's global challenges as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Infinity: history, philosophy, mathematics

The project aims at making novel and far-reaching contributions to some of the most central areas of contemporary philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of probability as they relate to infinity. The envisaged results include, among other things, decisive contributions to: the history of our conceptions of infinity; neo-logicism in philosophy of mathematics; the nature of abstraction principles as infinitary principles yielding finitistic results; alternative conceptions of probability; the concept of extension; the sources of our knowledge of counting and probabilistic reasoning.

Investigating the diversity and distribution of fungal viruses in soil

This project will leverage expertise in soil viromics and root-associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to investigate fungal viruses in Mediterranean grasslands. The UC Davis team will visit Lyon to learn field and laboratory methods for identifying, collecting, and analyzing grassland fungi, including protocols for purifying fungal communities from roots and soil. Both teams will apply these approaches to their local grassland soils, which will be sequenced for the recovery of fungal viruses.

Mapping coastal intertidal ecosystem primary production: coupling remote sensing and atmospheric eddy covariance

Intertidal coastal ecosystems (i.e. mudflats, salt marshes, seagrass beds, etc.) are present all over the world; they are often neglected in the global carbon budget, while these ecosystems are increasingly recognized to be as productive as tropical forests. Despite their potentially high contribution to the overall carbon budget, their actual contribution remains unknown. Moreover, these ecosystems are currently under threat from global changes and human activities.

Probability and Meaning

Our objective is to foster collaborative work between UC Berkeley and the Institut Jean-Nicod through two joint workshops, one in Berkeley, one in Paris. The workshops will be centered on the discussion of the increasing role that probabilistic modeling is taking in our understanding of linguistic meaning. Researchers at both institutions have been centrally interested in different aspects of this topic, and we think it would be fruitful to pool our thinking on complementary issues.

Statistical relational artificial intelligence for assisted orchestration

The aim of this project is to contribute to the development of new strategies and technologies for music processing, and specifically for Assisted Orchestration (AO).  The project builds on current work carried out in each team to assemble the necessary technical infrastructure, create tools, and conduct the analysis for the development of techniques for AO.

Tracer-informed critical zone modelling to connect water ages with hydrological resources and solute exports

The project aims to reveal how water, and the chemical compounds it contains, are stored and released in the mountainous region of the Upper Colorado River. We will use the extensive sets of field observations collected for several years by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the East River headwaters, in a novel combination with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of the processes through which water, plants and underground chemistry interact in these landscapes.

Understanding Wildfires

Wildfires have become a reoccurring phenomenon in the South of France and in California. Our proposed work focusses on the boundaries of fires between suburban development and fire prone terrains that are covered by forests, grassland or chaparral in three CAL-FIRE districts within the San Francisco Bay Area. Our team will conduct ten-day residences in each of the three districts to record and communicate the conditions in burn-out areas of recent fires through images, drawings and text.