Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Understanding the complex interactions between people and nature

4 June 2024

From June 4th to 18th the Integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological Research (eLTER) is presenting its first physical exhibition in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Located at Lover’s Bridge, one of the most central venues in the capital for such events, visitors could see 58 photos showcasing the work of eLTER scientists and their key role in combating the grand societal challenges.

The authors – Evgeni Dimitrov and Kaloyan Konstantinov - spent half a year preparing the so-called Grand Campaign. Together they traveled to over 30 sites in 23 countries in the span of 88 days, resulting in nearly 3000 photos and 50 videos.

The pictures are accompanied by a description of each national network, site and platform, as well as the importance of eLTER's scientific activities for Europe and the world. The goal, apart from purely aesthetic, is to acquaint the residents and guests of Sofia with the work of one of the largest and most important European Research Infrastructures.

The exhibition is part of the events accompanying the annual consortia meeting, organized by the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (in charge of the Bulgarian LTER network), and Pensoft Publishers (leading the communication and dissemination of eLTER). This year the event is held from 3rd to 7th of June, and is attended by nearly 100 scientists from all 26 eLTER countries. The exposition is carried out in partnership with the Sofia Municipality and will be officially opened on June 6 at 11:30 am local time.

eLTER responds to the challenge of understanding the complex interactions between people and nature over the long term. Environmental sustainability can only be achieved on the basis of the robust knowledge and empirical evidence needed to identify and mitigate human impacts on ecosystems. eLTER catalyses scientific discovery and insights through its state-of-the-art research infrastructure, collaborative working culture, and transdisciplinary expertise. This enables the development and application of evidence-based solutions for the wellbeing of current and future generations.

The mission of eLTER is to facilitate high impact research and catalyse new insights about the compounded impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, pollution, and unsustainable resource use on a range of European ecosystems and socio-ecological systems, representing the “critical zone” in which we live.

Studies of the biogeochemical cycles and physical properties of sea-water have been conducted since the ‘70s at the Gulf of Venice. Author: Evgeni Dimitrov / eLTER