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The project consists of three partners - Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and ICROFS.

The project is funded by the Villum-foundation.

ICROFS will coordinate the overall project and secure proper management based on solid experience, well-established procedures and experienced staff.

Niels Halberg is the overall project coordinator and Lizzie Melby Jespersen the administrative manager of the overall project.

Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, KU is the scientific manager of the project, responsible for the technical and scientific planning and implementation of the project including the construction of the “DeepRootLab” in accordance with the work plans and timelines described above.

The management structure of DeepFrontier involves the following organisational elements:

  • Project coordinator, scientific and administrative manager
  • Steering committee
  • WP leaders
  • Scientific staff
  • International expert advisory board



Three out of the four PhD students employed by the DeepFrontier project has now been employed. Camilla Ruø Rasmussen is working on nutrient and water uptake in deep roots. Liang Zhi is working on carbon input and turnover and how this affects the microbial population, and Annemette Lyhne-Kjærbye will be working on the rhizosphere microbiology in deep soil layers. In addition, Affendy Bin Hassan has a scholarship from Malaysia and is working on a method to determine roots by DNA extraction from soil and how this relates to known methods.

Sep. 2015

Deep Frontier group at the kick-off meeting. Photo: Marie-Louise Andersen

Contact the project coordinators

Niels Halberg, director ICROFS 

T: +45 87 15 80 37


Kristiaan Thorup-Kristensen, professor University of Copenhagen

T: +45 35 33 22 16

Steering Committee

The project coordinator will be assisted by a Steering Committee comprised of the WP managers with the administrative manager as secretary.

The Committee will be responsible for supervision and monitoring of all relevant aspects of the project, in particular the information flow between the different work packages and financial aspects.

Meetings of the Steering Committee will take place at approximately 6 month intervals. The meetings will preferably be held about a month before the short half yearly reports and the more descriptive yearly reports are due. Meetings may also take place by phone or video conferences whenever needed.

Work package leaders

The work package (WP) leaders will manage the progress and communication within the work packages as well as knowledge transfer and communication between them.They are responsible for the coherence of the WP activities and the comparability and applicability of outputs.

Assisted by the project coordinator and scientific manager, the WP leaders will implement the specified work plan and manage the work progress.

In case of necessary amendments of the work plan due to unforeseen problems, the WP leaders will elaborate suggestions for alternative solutions based on communication with the project coordinator, who will – if necessary - negotiate the changes with the Villum foundation.


Read about the seven Work Packages

Advisory board

The international scientific advisory board members will be invited to participate in all the scientific discussions at the project meetings to assure high quality of the research, international networking for temporary collaboration with external international scientists on the project and to give inspiration to the project.

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