P.R.I.M.E. Fellows 2014

Fellowship holders 2014-2016

selection date: July 2014

You can search the entire website for any terms using the search function Strg + F.

Archeology

Dr. Eleftheria Paliou, Greece

Field of research:
Archaeology

Research interests:
Mediterranean Archaeology, Aegean prehistory, urban settlement in prehistory and history, landscape archaeology,  archaeological computing, spatial technologies and data analysis, computational social science methods, Geographic Information Systems, 3D modelling.

Planned research project:
Spatial interactions and socio-political change in Bronze Age Crete: modelling the evolution of regional settlement hierarchies before and after the emergence of the Minoan Palaces (ca. 2300-1450 BC).
The proposed research aims to explore dynamic aspects of human interaction and settlement pattern formation in Bronze Age Crete in the periods just before and after the emergence of the Minoan palaces, so as to contribute to the current discussion on the political organisation of prehistoric societies on the island in the second millennium BC. It will adopt methods of geospatial analysis that build on the notions of networks and flows in order to examine the critical issues of human interaction, intentionality and constraint in the prehistoric Cretan landscape, which are indissolubly related with the emergence of central places and elite groups, demographic growth, inter-regional communication, the transmission of cultural traits, economy and political organisation. The analytical methods that will be employed will build upon and expand pilot work on the use of spatial interaction models and dynamic geographic networks in archaeology.

Keywords: Spatial interactions models, dynamic geographic networks, Aegean Bronze Age, socio-political organisation

German host university:
University of Heidelberg

Host during the mobility phase:
Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Website: http://eleftheria121.wordpress.com/

Astrophysics

Dr. Andrey Saveliev, Germany

Field of research:
Astrophysics

Research interests:
Astroparticle physics, Cosmic Rays, Primordial and Cosmic Magnetic Fields

Planned research project:
Cosmic (i.e. here galactic and intergalactic) magnetic fields and their interaction with the galactic and intergalactic medium are, although their general physical basis is well-known, still a challenging subject in modern astrophysics due to the large range of scales in both space and time. One possibility to overcome the associated problems is the development of efficient algorithms for relevant simulations which then can be used on high-performance multi-processor computing machines. From the physical point of view this might be done with the approach of kinetic schemes which obtain the time evolution of all relevant quantities like density, temperature, etc. directly from the Boltzmann Equation. With a novel recent approach also electromagnetic quantities may be included in this formalism, hence making it applicable to the problems of cosmic magnetic fields.

Keywords: Galactic magnetic fields, intergalactic magnetic fields, magnetohydrodynamics, kinetic schemes,
Boltzmann Equation

German host university:
University of Hamburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (Russian Academy of Sciences), Russia

Biochemistry

Dr. Christoph Allolio, Germany

Field of research:
Biochemistry

Research interests: membrane peptide interactions, membrane dynamics, free energy methods, solvation theory, ion-specific effects, fluorescence spectroscopy, molecular dynamics, density functional theory, coarse graining

Planned research project:
Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) have the ability to enter cells and introduce an attached molecular cargo. This may allow for a more targeted drug delivery. It has been established that some CPPs are capable of crossing artificial phospholipid membranes, not requiring assistance from an actual cell. The peptides themselves are often highly charged and rich in arginine. While this observation is is already being exploited in the design of synthetic molecules for cell-penetration, the actual mechanism of membrane penetration is not well understood. The ultimate aim of the project is to find this mechanism. Using molecular dynamics methods in combination with enhanced sampling techniques the influence of membrane composition, peptide concentration and specific interactions of the guanidinium based arginine side chains are being investigated. The main technical challenge are the very slow degrees of freedom and large scale of the membrane/peptide system. Simplified models are being used to tackle these problems. To experimentally validate theoretical predictions, a collaboration with a fluorescence spectroscopy group is in place.

Keywords: Cell penetrating peptides, membrane insertion, membrane-ion interactions

German host university:
University of Regensburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry AS CR, v.v.i., Czech Republic

Dr. Christian Leiterer, Germany

Field of research:
Biochemistry

Research interests:

Planned research project:
Development of a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip device for the separation of non-polar biomarker analytes. Understanding biomolecular pathways in living organisms is the basis for biochemical research and modern medicine. The proposed separation approach utilizes a combination of electrophoresis and bulk flow in a nanochannel to generate a stable chemical gradient, which will allow simultaneous separation and concentration of hydrophobic biomolecules in a microfluidic system.

Keywords: electrophoresis, nanofluidic, Lab-on-a-Chip

German host university:
University of Jena

Host during the mobility phase:
Macquarie University, Australia

Biology

Dr. Pawel Romanczuk, Germany

Field of research:
Theoretical Biology

Research interests: My main research interests lie in the field of statistical physics and stochastic processes applied to biological and ecological problems. I am in particular interested in the emergence of collective behavior in biology (swarming) and related problems of self-propelled motion. Currently, I am closely collaborating with experimental biologist on data analysis and empirically driven modeling of collective dynamics in fish.

Planned research project:
The general objective of the project is to explore the ability of animal groups, in particular fish schools, to collectively process information and to study information spreading within such groups. We are in particular interested in the question: How are fish schools able to simultaneously exhibit robust collective behavior, adapt quickly to changing environments, and react effectively to possible threats? The intended research relates on the one hand to many important biological questions, as for example: How does this ability depend on the presence/absence of between-individual differences?  On the other hand in connects to research in theoretical physics and applied mathematics on information processing by complex systems. Thus, we expect that the proposed investigation will set the stage for further interdisciplinary research beyond the current project.

Keywords: ---

German host university:
Humboldt University, Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
Princeton University, USA

Dr. Gregor Christa, Germany

Field of research:
Biology

Research interests: Biodiversity, Evolution, Algae, Photobiology, Mollusks, Endosymbiosis, Ecology

Planned research project:
Stolen plastids in the cytosol of the sea slug Elysia viridis

Keywords: Kleptoplasty, Algae, Plastids, Sacoglossa, Photobiology, Photoptotection, Photosynthesis

German host university:
University of Düsseldorf

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Aveiro, Portugal

Dr. Jörn Thomsen, Germany

Field of research:
Biology

Research interests: Cellular acid-base regulation, mechanisms of ammonia excretion, marine animal physiology

Planned research project:
Regulation of V-type H+-ATPase and its physiological function in ammonia excretion in marine bivales

Keywords: V-type ATPase, ammonia, Mytilus, Crassostrea, sAC

German host university:
University of Kiel

Host during the mobility phase:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USCD), USA

Chemistry

Dr. Thomas Hoffmann, Germany

Field of research:
Chemistry

Research interests:
Analytical Chemistry, Natural Products, Biosynthesis

Planned research project:
Imaging Mass Spectrometry and Secondary Metabolomics: Advanced Tools to get Insights into the Natural Role of Myxobacterial Secondary Metabolites

Keywords: Mass spectrometry, natural products, myxobacteria

German host university:
Saarland University

Host during the mobility phase:
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, USA

Dr. Mareike Claudia Holland, Germany

Field of research:
Organic Chemistry

Research interests:
Physical Organic Chemistry, Catalyst Design, Deconstruction of Function and Mechanism

Planned research project:
Proving the Power of Computational Catalyst Design: Prediction and Evaluation of new Amino Acid derived Phosphine Catalysts

Keywords: Computational Design - Experimental Evaluation

German host university:
University of Münster

Host during the mobility phase:
University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Cultural Studies

Dr. Antje Dietze, Germany

Field of research:
Cultural Studies, Transnational History

Research interests:
Cultural change and cultural globalization,cultural transfers and entanglements, urban and transnational culture, cultural/creative industries
in historical perspective (19th and 20th centuries)

Planned research project:
Cultural Entrepreneurs in Transnational Perspective: The Case of Montreal, 1880s–1930s
This project investigates how cultural entrepreneurs contributed to the creation of modern entertainment industries in the decades around 1900. Judging from their central position in cultural production and distribution, it can be assumed that they not only played a fundamental role in the advent of modern mass society and urban popular culture, but also paved the way for new forms of transnational entanglements in the commercial cultural sector at the time.
However, in previous research, cultural entrepreneurs have often stayed 'behind the curtain'. This is particularly true for studies on modern entertainment industries outside of the US, Great Britain and France. Therefore, the project will focus on entrepreneurs in Germany and Canada. It aims to show how transnational networks evolved beyond the pioneering centers, and how cultural entrepreneurs fostered the expansion and differentiation of cultural markets.
My intended research in Canada is devoted to my second case study dealing with cultural entrepreneurs in the city of Montreal. I am especially interested in the question of how they organized cultural transfers, how they dealt with the dominance of entertainment circuits from the US and France and with the city‘s cultural diversity, and whether their position outside of the global centers of cultural production led to any specialized strategies, problems or advantages.

Keywords: Cultural entrepreneurs, modern entertainment industries and cultural metropolises

German host university:
Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig

Host during the mobility phase:
IRTG "Diversity", Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes, Université de Montréal, Canada

Engineering

Dr. Malte Krack, Germany

Field of research:
Dynamics and vibrations of mechanical systems

Research interests:
Nonlinear structures, contact and dry friction, optimization and robust design, model order reduction

Planned research project:
Modal interactions in nonlinear dissipative mechanical systems

Keywords: Nonlinear dynamics, computational methods, nonlinear modes, internal resonances, modal interactions, dynamic instabilities

German host university:
University of Hannover

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, USA

Geography

Dr. Antonie Schmiz, Germany

Field of research:
Geography

Research interests: Migration and urban development, Migrant labour market integration, Transnational labour migration

Planned research project:
The Governance of Ethnic Business Districts in Transatlantic Comparison

Keywords: City branding, urban governance, migrant economies, traveling policies, Berlin, Toronto

Poster

Project Website

German host university:
Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main

Host during the mobility phase:
Ryerson University Toronto, Canada

Geology

Dr. Daniel Howell, Great Britain

Field of research:
Geology

Research interests:
Deep mantle fluids, metasomatism, developing new analytical methods

Planned research project:
Carbonate inclusions in super-deep diamonds from Brazil: Tracking the deep carbon cycle

Keywords:

German host university:
Goethe University Frankfurt/Main

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Bristol, Great Britain

Geo Sciences

Dr. Tobias Beirau, Germany

Field of research:
Geosciences

Research interests:
Radiation damage in materials, structural reorganization, phase transitions, mineral science

Planned research project:
Radiation damage in minerals

Keywords: radiation damage, metamict, actinides, recrystallization

German host university:
University of Hamburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Stanford University, USA

History

Dr. Sebastian Jobs, Germany

Field of research:
U.S. History

Research interests:
Cultural History, History and/of Knowledge, History of Everyday Life, Practices and Theories of Memory and Remembering, History and Performance Theory

Planned research project:
Rumors of Revolt – ‘Uncertain Knowledge’ of Slave Insurrections in the
American South, 1783-1865

Keywords: Rumors, Gossip, Knowledge, Slavery, Agency, African American History, History of the
South

Poster

German host university:
Freie Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Informatics

Dr. Robert Mercas, Romania

Field of research:
Informatics

Research interests:
Algorithms on Sequences, Combinatorics on Words, Formal Languages

Planned research project:
Algorithms and data structure on faulty sequences

Keywords:
Pattern matching, Matching with “don’t cares”, k-abelian matching, Indexing

Poster

German host university:
University of Kiel

Host during the mobility phase:
King's College London, Great Britain

Linguistics

Dr. Miguel Gutiérrez Maté, Spain

Field of research:
Linguistics

Research interests: Sociolinguistics; History of Romance languages in Latin America; Romance-based Creole languages; Morphosyntax of Spanish, French and Portuguese; Interface between Syntax and Information Structure.

Planned research project:
The history of languages in constant interaction, the case of the long-time bilingualism between Romance vernaculars and Romance-based creoles

Keywords: Linguistic change, creolization, code-switching, bilingualism

Poster

German host university:
University of Erlangen

Host during the mobility phase:
University of California, Irvine, USA

Mathematics

Dr. Joscha Diehl, Germany

Field of research:
Mathematics

Research interests:

Planned research project:
Singular stochastic partial differential equations on manifolds

Keywords:

German host university:
Technische Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
University of California, San Diego, USA

Dr. Jannik Matuschke, Germany

Field of research:
Mathematics, Computer Science, Operations Research

Research interests: Combinatorial optimization, in particular approximation algorithms and network optimization

Planned research project:
New Challenges in Network Design: The goal of research in network design is the development of mathematical models and computational solution methods for planning and optimizing network infrastructures as they occur everywhere in our daily lives, enabling, e.g., transportation, communication, or the distribution of electrical power. With the increasing dependence of our society on constant availability of such network services, these networks are expected to be robust against link failures and external interferences. In order to ensure efficient and reliable operation, planners also need to take into account the behaviour of agents participating within the networks (e.g., passengers in a transit network). These considerations lead to an increasing integration of aspects robust optimization and game theory. The resulting problems are considerably more complex than classic network design problems, leading to interesting new algorithmic challenges, which are the subject of this project.

Keywords: Network design, robust optimization, game theory, approximation algorithms

German host university:
Technische Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

Dr. Mateusz Michalek, Poland

Field of research:
Mathematics

Research interests:
Algebraic geometry, combinatorics, algebraic phylogenetics, toric varieties

Planned research project:
Toric methods in algebraic geometry and combinatorics

Keywords:

German host university:
Freie Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
University of California, Berkeley, USA

Philosophy

Dr. Jens Gillessen, Germany

Field of research:
Philosophy

Research interests:
Practical rationality, philosophy of action, normative ethics, the practical philosophy of Immanuel Kant

Planned research project:
The logical structure of quantification within world-to-mind contexts

Keywords: intentionality, mental states, formal logic, formal semantics, propositional attitudes, intention, direction of fit, quantification, existence

German host university:
University of Leipzig

Host during the mobility phase:
Stanford University, USA

Dr. David Zapero, Germany

Field of research:
Philosophy

Research interests: Philosophy of Mind. Moral Psychology. Kant. 19th and 20th Century European Philosophy

Planned research project:
First-person authority as a normative achievement

Keywords:

German host university:
University of Bonn

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Chicago, USA

Physics

Hannes Kraus, Germany

Field of research:
Physics

Research interests:
I'm working with electron spin resonance (ESR), first on semiconducting polymers, now on spin centers in silicon carbide. Right now I'm interested in learning about the controlled production of spin centers by radiation.

Planned research project:
Silicon carbide (SiC) may become a promising candidate for quantum applications, such as computing, sensing and photonics. For these applications, the control of defect density and uniformity is crucial. The project aim is to ascertain preparation parameters for both low defect density samples for single spin control, and high defect density spin defect samples for the realization of a SiC maser.

Keywords: silicon carbide, epr, esr, odmr, maser, single spin detection

Poster

German host university:
Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Japanese Atomic Energy Agency, Quantum Beam Science Directorate, Takasaki, Gunma, Japan

Dr. Doris Reiter, Germany

Field of research:
Theoretical solid state physics

Research interests:
Spin dynamics in semimagnetic quantum dots,
carrier and phonon dynamics in optically driven quantum dots,
non-classical phonon states, light-matter interaction

Planned research project:
Semiconductor nanoplasmonics: In this project I study what happens when a semiconductor nanostructure is embedded as an optically active emitter in close proximity to a plasmonic nanostructure or when the gain material is completely made of semiconductor material.

Keywords:
Nanophysics, semiconductor physics, plasmonics, light-matter coupling

Poster

German host university:
University of Münster

Host during the mobility phase:
Imperial College London, Great Britain

Dr. Timothy James Bartley, Great Britain

Field of research:
Physics

Research interests:
Optical implementations of quantum mechanical phenomena, building quantum optical devices

Planned research project:
Integrated quantum optics with high-efficiency superconducting detectors

Keywords:
Integrated optics, quantum optics, superconducting detectors, quantum communication, quantum information processing

German host university:
University of Paderborn

Host during the mobility phase:
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, USA

Dr. Stefan Förster, Germany

Field of research:
Physics

Research interests:
Surface science

Planned research project:
Enhanced structural analysis of a recently discovered two-dimensional oxide quasicrystal based on X-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD) experiments.

Keywords: Photoelectron Diffraction, 2D quasicrystal

German host university:
University of Halle-Wittenberg

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Zürich, Switzerland

Dr. Liam Paul McGuiness, Australia

Field of research:
Physics

Research interests:
Magnetometry, quantum optics, quantum information, biophysics, imaging

Planned research project:
Nanoscale magnetic imaging of living cells.
The generation and dynamics of nanoscale magnetic fields are associated with a wide range of cellular processes including cell signaling (action potentials), homeostasis (ion channel function) and cell death (free radical production in apoptosis). However, very few techniques exist to image these events with the required sensitivity and spatial resolution. This project will develop a biosensor based on quantum engineered diamond with properties that make it a biological magnetometer of exceptional sensitivity. Fluorescent readout of defects in diamond known as nitrogen-vacancy centers will be used to detect minute magnetic fields produced in living cells.

Keywords:
Bioimaging, NV center, diamond, live cell imaging

German host university:
University of Ulm

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Melbourne, Australia

Political Sciences

Ruth Streicher, Germany

Field of research:
Political Sciences

Research interests:
Southeast Asian Studies, Politics of Secularism, Gender Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies

Planned research project:
‚Buddhist Modernity’ and the Production of Handbook Knowledge on Islam in Thailand

Keywords:
Secularism, Buddhism, Thailand, Muslim Minority

Poster

German host university:
Freie Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
University of California, Berkeley, USA

Psychology

Dr. Natalia Zaretskaya, Russia

Field of research:
Neurosicence

Research interests:
Visual neuroscience, visual perception and cognition

Planned research project:
High-resolution fMRI study of visual perception

Keywords: fMRI, visual perception, attention

German host university:
University of Tübingen

Host during the mobility phase:
MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos | Center for Biomedical Imaging, USA

Sociology

Dr. Ana Aceska, Macedonia

Field of research:
Sociology

Research interests:
urban change, urban theories, divided cities, post-socialist cities, place-making

Planned research project:
Ethnic segregation in cities: urban policies and city planning strategies in ethnically divided cities in a comparative perspective

Keywords: Ethnic segregation in cities, urban policies, former Yugoslav countries

German host university:
Humboldt University, Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
Center for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria