About our project

Training Early Stage Researchers

The TERRANOVA project aims to train Early Stage Researchers (ESR’s) working with policy makers and the wider society with a deep appreciation of a wide range of sectors affecting landscapes, and to form a new generation capable of coproducing responses to the interdisciplinary challenges of land management where ecosystem services, cultural heritage, and economic qualities are balanced and preserved, taking into consideration ongoing climate, environmental and social change.

Sustainable land management

European societies have exploited and managed their landscapes for millennia, but recent rapid socioeconomic changes and high societal demands on the environment have become a challenge for land managers. Specifically, recent anthropogenic climate change has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to ecosystem services and human well-being. In the future, new synergies and trade-offs, along with climate and demographic changes will have to strain the water-energy-food nexus upon which modern society is sustained.

This water-energy-food nexus presents a pressing challenge for sustainable land management to understand the interdisciplinary nature of landscape history, the development of rural areas, and the transition to a low-carbon society. Land managers today need an unprecedented depth and breadth of knowledge about the physical, social, and cultural characteristics of the landscapes for which they are responsible3. Furthermore, they need to understand how their landscapes evolved as a product of both cultural and natural influences through prehistoric and historic times and the current trajectories under climate change, elevated CO2 concentrations, waste, air pollution and present-day perspectives on our natural and cultural heritage.

energy regimes

Fig. 1.1: The concept of energy regimes through time, the increasing magnitude of human influence and changing balance between nature and culture. Training researchers to understand and negotiate the uncertain “future of nature” (variously grey shaded areas) is a major focus of TerraNova. NB the time scale is nonlinear. B= Bronze Age, I= Iron Age, R= Roman Age, Me= Medieval, Mo= Modern Times

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