Pascal Boeckx and Kris Verheyen awarded for work on climate change

(13-01-2022) On 10 January, Pascal Boeckx and Kris Verheyen received an award from the Province of East Flanders for their work in the fight against climate change.

"Professor Verheyen and Professor Boeckx each contribute with their expertise to an increase in the knowledge about climate change and how we can arm ourselves against it. Their knowledge, and by extension that of all their colleagues, helps to shape climate policy. Every policy level and therefore also the Province can only be grateful for that," says Riet Gillis, representative of the Province of East Flanders.

From the start of their careers, Professor Kris Verheyen and Professor Pascal Boeckx have been committed to researching and addressing certain aspects of climate issues and specific elements of 'global change'. In 2021, both bioscience engineers were included in the renowned Reuters Hot List, a list of the most influential climate scientists worldwide.

Kris Verheyen is professor in forest ecology and forest management and head of the Forest & Nature Laboratory at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. His recent research includes the importance of smaller forests in our fight against climate change.

Professor Pascal Boeckx coordinates the Isotope Bioscience Laboratory at Ghent University, which, among other things, conducts research into biogeochemical cycles and CO2 uptake in tropical forests and the influence of climate change thereon. Together with his team, Professor Boeckx recently placed the very first climate tower in the rainforest in Congo. The data provided by the tower are important for a better understanding of the CO2 absorption capacity of the rainforest and for refining regional vegetation models. In the past, Boeckx was also actively involved in the IPCC.

Climate change is urgent

With this recognition, Riet Gillis, deputy of the Province of East Flanders, wants to stress the importance of the work that climate scientists do in the fight against climate change.

"The year 2021 was more than ever another year of the fight against global warming. We saw the climate crisis happen dramatically under our noses, including unprecedented floods in the south of our country, and unprecedented high temperatures at the end of the year."

"The scientific consensus on climate change and impact is greater than ever. On the other hand, further scientific research remains essential, especially since the transition to less greenhouse gas emissions remains difficult. In this regard, the work of Pascal Boeckx, Kris Verheyen and their colleagues is particularly important."