PyroLife, a project in which a new generation of experts will be trained in integrated wildfire management
Marie-Curie Action, part of the European Union’s Horizion 2020 Program, has recently selected to fund a new, global initiative in wildfire research. The initiative, PyroLife, will support 15 PhD students across the globe to pursue cross-disciplinary, wildfire-focused projects. The aim for the projects is to aid in facilitating the advancement of holistic, integrated wildfire management. For its participants, PyroLife focuses on incorporating diverse backgrounds that may promote creativity for innovative wildfire strategies. A key goal of the initiative is to instill intersectional, transferable knowledge and maximize employability for its graduates. PyroLife is a novel facet in the global wildfire network and may bring innovative ideas from a wide range of fields during a critical time in wildland fire research.
PyroLife provides 15 PhD candidates. The project is the first large and integrated doctoral training programme on wildfires globally. WUR will offer four PhD positions on: the effects of wildfires and ashes on soil and water quality, designing landscapes adapted to the increasing risk on wildfires, and applying Dutch knowledge in water management (prevention and the widely-known ‘poldermodel’) to ‘living with fire’.
Knowledge from other countries
The PyroLife project brings together knowledge from different countries, scientific disciplines and practices. Southern European leadership in fire expertise will be used to understand and predict wildfires in Northern Europe, whilst Northern European lessons learned in the prevention of floods will be applied in Southern Europe.
Connecting people to make change
Fire science and management in Europe are currently rather scattered. While the above analysis illustrates how much can be gained from international, cross-risk and transdisciplinary exchange, Europe can also gain a lot from a better connection between its fire experts, like the USA has their 15 active Fire Science Exchange Networks. PyroLife connects 21 academic and non-academic parties in Europe and beyond, and will serve as a hub for the extended PyroLife+ network
By working with experts on water management and landscape architects, we will use their knowledge to design resilient landscapes and prepare communities to live with fire