PyroLife – training a new generation of interdisciplinary experts in holistic fire 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’. 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.

Two of these PhD candidates as Early Stage Researchers (ESR’s) will join the CareNet group at the UOC, where, based on theories and methods in social sciences, will carry out their doctoral research on effective strategies to involve communities at risk (PhD14) and the development of inclusive risk communication plans (PhD15).

  • Train a new generation of interdisciplinary experts in holistic fire management
  • Develop a training program based on four axes of diversity: interdisciplinarity, intersectorality, geography and gender.
  • Generation of social impact: the training will be aimed at fostering creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation in addressing the current and future challenges of fire.

Funding Body: European Commission

Programme: H2020-EU.1.3.1, MSCA-ITN-2019

Reference: 860787

Start date: 01/10/2019

End date: 30/09/2023

Miriam Arenas

Principal Researcher