Three scientists at Arctic Research Centre receives Villum Experiment grants

Three scientists at Arctic Research Centre - Toke T. Høye, Leendert Vergeynst, and Younghui Zeng - each receives a Villum Experiment grant.

2017.06.19 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen

Toke T. Høye receives a Villum Experiment grant

Toke T. Høye, Dept. of Bioscience, has received 2 mill DKK for a project aiming at developing an automated insect detection system for his work on ecology.

Automatic Insect Detection (AID)

Is it possible to identify insect species in their natural environment using Computer Vision and Machine Learning? This project will develop and test solutions for the automatic detection of surface‐active insects in the lab and in nature for use in environmental research and monitoring. The solutions will transform research on this economically and ecologically important organism group and will allow for unprecedented accuracy and resolution in human land use (e.g. agriculture) and climate change effects assessments. 


Leendert Vergeynst receives a Villum Experiment grant

Leendert Vergeynst, Dept. of Bioscience, has received 1.8 mill DKK to explore the oil degradation capacity of microorganisms in the Arctic.

Exploring the oil degradation capacity of microbes in pristine Arctic environments

Can microorganisms reduce the impact of oil spills in pristine Arctic environments? This study starts from a fundamentally new understanding of how hydrocarbon degradation takes place in biofilms to investigate oil degradation in icy waters of Northern Greenland at Villum Research Station. To do so, I will introduce an innovative approach that, if successful, holds enormous promises for identifying the most realistic oil degradation patterns and microbial communities that can mediate oil spills in some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.


Yonghui Zeng receives a Villum Experiment grant

Yonghui Zeng, Dept. of Env. Science/AIAS, has received 2 mill DKK for his project focusing on the evolution of photosynthesis.

Searching for Photosynthetic Archaea in Arctic Permafrost

The early evolution of photosynthesis remains a long‐standing enigma. Among the three domains of life, it has been well established that photosynthesis first evolved in Bacteria billions of years ago and later spread into Eukarya, whereas all members of Archaea are thought to lack the photosynthetic capability, without any plausible explanations. Here we aim to challenge this notion by proposing that photosynthesis instead first evolved in more primitive Archaea and that such photosynthetic archaeal cells are still preserved in ecosystems of modern cryosphere awaiting discovery.


Link til Villum Experiment homepage:

Link til AIAS nyhed om Yonghui Zeng’s projekt:



Arctic Research Centre