UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Dr Carole Dalin wins prestigious European Research Council grant to lead 5-year project

6 January 2022

Congratulations to Dr Carole Dalin for being awarded the prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant.

Photo of half wheat and half yellow rapeseed flower field

photo of Carole Dalin
Associate Professor Dr Carole Dalin has been awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), worth 1.5 million euros. ERC Starting Grants recognise talented early-career scientists who show the potential to be research leaders and have a scientific track-record showing great promise. Dr Dalin’s funded FLORA project (“Sustainable and healthy food solutions: system dynamics and trade-offs”) will pursue ambitious scientific goals to held find effective solutions for sustainable food systems worldwide. It will enable Dr Dalin to recruit three postdoctoral researchers with different scientific expertise, as well as one doctoral student, to advance this interdisciplinary project.


About the FLORA project

Food systems are crucial to end hunger, but also to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to protect and restore biodiversity, to ensure human health and well-being, to end poverty, and to support sustainable communities. While hunger has receded, food systems are causing increasingly severe damage to our environment and health.
The FLORA project
(“Sustainable and healthy food solutions: system dynamics and trade-offs”) will contribute to a transformation of global agri-food production, trade, and consumption necessary to achieve sustainable and healthy food systems.

The project will create essential evidence to identify and implement the shifts in practices and behaviours needed to effectively achieve this transformation, by:

  1. making a diagnosis of the integrated health and environmental outcomes of food systems globally, from the production and consumption perspectives, with innovative measures of sustainability,
  2. identifying key threats and opportunities with system dynamics and complex network analyses, and
  3. targeting and evaluating tailored solutions with an inter-disciplinary modelling framework.

The project will enable the identification of most effective, targeted solutions by considering trade-offs, synergies, and dynamics of key food systems components. Global in scope, it sets the ambitious goal to overcome barriers in current approaches by taking a systemic approach and establishing a robust, interdisciplinary framework supported by empirical advancements to tackle complex food systems challenges.

This innovative project builds on Dr Dalin’s excellent track record in leading interdisciplinary research focused on the global agri-food system and its environmental impacts.

UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources Director, Professor Jim Watson, said:

I’m delighted that Carole has been successful with this prestigious grant. Global food systems need to be transformed so that they can feed the world’s population whilst improving health and reducing the impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. This funding will enable her team to make major contributions to the international evidence base, and to help achieve a shift to more sustainable food provision."

The Bartlett School of Environment Energy and Resources, Director Professor Neil Strachan, said:

ERC Starting Grants are an incredibly competitive process, and Carole winning this emphasises that she is an internationally pioneering researcher and will be a global leader in her field”

Photo by Loren Gu on Unsplash