PRIORITY AREAS

Forecasting climate change and its consequences

Carbon cycle, biogeochemistry

SibFU's researchers study the movement of carbon between different environments, which allows to use complex approach in studies of climatic trends and to be able to prepare forecasts for the future. The University plans to build a new Tall Tower for continuous monitoring of the atmosphere in the far north. Such towers stand in all regions of the world, and their absence in the north of Russia (Northern Eurasia) creates an "information black hole ", complicating global climate studies for the scientific community around the world. The implementation of this and other initiatives, as well as the development of interdisciplinary researches using supercomputer simulations, will allow the University to prepare scientific publications of the highest level in the journals Nature and Science. In the given direction the University cooperates with the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University and with the international research organization IIASA.

Dendrochronology

One of the most important and advanced areas of research at the University. SibFU's research teams carry out dendroclimatic monitoring, build tree-ring chronologies and create extremely long reconstructions of the Earth's climate. This area is characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinarity and combines researches in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology and other sciences. Over the past three years the University researchers were coauthors of 20 papers in international journals with an average impact factor of 4, including articles for the journals Nature Plants, Nature Geoscience. The development of this area in the framework of “Project 5-100” will make it possible to reach the level of the journals Nature and Science. The University cooperates with such research centers as the University of Barcelona, the University of Arizona, the University of East Anglia, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research.

Reducing concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere

Forest pyrology

The University carries out researches in the area of ecological evolution of tree species under the influence of fire, fire biogeochemistry, ecological basis of fire management. This area has a high practical and theoretical importance, since forest fires lead to significant emissions of carbon dioxide and destruction of trees, which are its natural absorbents. Carbon dioxide emissions due to forest fires make about 10% of total emissions, therefore science-based fire management can lead to a significant reduction of emissions, comparable with the decrease due to the implementation of the Kyoto protocol measures. At the same time remote sensing technology of Earth from space and geoinformation systems will develop actively. The University cooperates with the leading international organizations dealing with this topic, including the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the FS USDA, as well as the University of Freiburg, the University of Barcelona, the University of Alaska and Montana State University.

Genetic engineering

The University studies the variability and the evolution of plant genomes and, first of all, forest forming tree species, as well as fungi, animals and humans on the basis of whole-genome sequencing and genotyping. Researches allow to identify genes responsible for economically valuable traits and to modify plant genomes in order to obtain the desired characteristics. One of the priorities in this area is the study of the genome of larch, one of the most common softwood worldwide. The University plans to modify the genome of larch and to give it resistance to pests, in particular – to the silkmoth, which annually consumes more than 100 thousand hectares of forest only in Russia. Silkmoth-damaged forest dries and burns quickly, therefore breeding of varieties of larch, that are resistant to silkmoth and other negative factors, would lead to reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. These studies are interdisciplinary and include bioinformatics, supercomputer modeling, genetics and other sciences. Researches in this area should lead to high-quality publications, including in the journals Nature and Science.

The University participates in research grants on this subject for a total amount of approximately 2 billion of Rubles, including the grant to study the adaptation of the southern pine forests of the US Department of Agriculture (US $ 20 million), where the SFU employee is a co-director of the project, the grant of the Russian Government on genomic studies softwood (82 mln. rub.) and the grant of the European Union on the study of plant adaptation to heavy metal contamination (€ 3 million). The University cooperates with the leading research organizations in this area, including The University of Göttingen, Stockholm Bioinformatics Centre, the Mississippi State University.

Artificial photosynthesis

Creation of artificial photosynthesis, which allows to obtain energy from sunlight and store it in chemical compounds with high efficiency, should lead to a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the future. The University cooperates with the leading research centers in this area, including Purdue University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Extending the human lifespan and the overall quality of life

Aquatic ecosystems

One of the priorities of the University is to study the production of aquatic ecosystems. The University studies environmental and genetic mechanisms that determine the level of production of biologically active substances in aquatic ecosystems, in the first place – polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids – protectors of сardiovascular diseases. The research results can be used to create such conditions under which the products of aquatic ecosystems will be enough saturated with essential nutrients, that will cause an increase in living standards and a reduction in mortality. Earlier in the given direction a joint grant from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the American organization CDRF have already been received. A potential partner in this field is the Federal Agency for Fisheries, as well as foreign organizations dealing with this subject. The research results are published in international journals with impact factor of the order of 5. Among the research partners of the University - the University of Potsdam, the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

Biopolymers

Advanced developments in the field of biopolymers are aimed at creating human tissue prostheses for medical purposes. Currently, this area produced significant progress, scientists of the University are published in journals with high impact factor and attract about 50 million rubles per year on researches. Pilot production of biopolymers with a full set of equipment for extraction, analysis and processing of polymers in the specialty products was established on the basis of the University. The University cooperates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mahatma Gandhi University, the University of Crete and other research centers.

Bioluminescence

One of the most important areas of research at the University. Researches are focused on developing of highly efficient bioluminescent technologies and methods of their application in biology, medical diagnostics and monitoring the environment. Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2008 Osamu Shimomura works at the University in the given direction. Over the past three years 15 articles with an average impact factor of 5.3 were published in international journals. Publications in the journals Nature and Science are planned. The University cooperates with more than thirty international research centers, including the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and Stanford University.

Enhancing efficiency of the production and utilization of natural resources

Aluminium

The University works on the development of the concept of modern aluminum electrolytic cell, which allows to obtain high-quality aluminum products with minimal effort. In this area, the properties of low-temperature electrolytes-suspensions are studied, as well as electrochemical properties of inert anode and economic aspects of the creation cells. The use of MHD (magneto-hydrodynamic) technologies provides an additional effect. High practical value of the direction and the use of the ideology of Product Management, focusing on the quality of produced product, attract grants and business partners, so that over the past three years, the University has managed to attract more than 200 million Rubles for the studies. The University works with the leading companies in this field, including the UC RUSAL, with which the establishment of a joint research center in 2016 is already planned. This direction also has a significant scientometric value. During 2013-2015 years, ten publications on the subject in international journals with an average impact factor of 2.1 was published. It is planned to publish in the most prestigious journals in this field with impact factor of 8 or more in the future. The University cooperates with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Central South University of Changsha.

Petrochemistry

The University has considerable competences in the field of oil production and petrochemistry. Researches on modeling and optimization of production processes, refining, refining of crude oil, oil-field chemistry are carried out. During 2013-2015, more than 300 million Rubles from partners were received for the case studies. The University cooperates with the leading Russian and international companies in the industry, including companies Rosneft and Schlumberger, with which joint research centers were opened. Scientific partners of the University – the French Institute of Petroleum, the University of Cádiz and the University of New South Wales.

Overcoming limitations of electronics

Overcoming performance limitations of electronics

Nanoplasmonics is a new area of research for the region and country. Nanoplasmonic structures allow to create fundamentally new components for computers. outstanding research results have already been obtained, there are publications in international journals with high impact factor, including more than 20. The University actively cooperates with the leading research groups around the world, including the team of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the TU Dresden and Purdue University. The University considers nanoplasmonics as one of the most promising interdisciplinary disciplines. The best practices in the field of mathematics, physics and chemistry are used for research, computer science experts will be actively involved in the future. In addition to computers, nanoplasmonics is used in the medical field, where it, at the intersection with biology, provides prospects for the creation of effective means of treatment of cancer, and is also used in order to create artificial photosynthesis.