P.R.I.M.E. Fellows 2015

Fellowship holders 2015-2017

selection date: June 2015

The list will be continuously updated to include the profiles of all fellows of 2015.
You can search the entire website for any terms using the search function Strg + F.

Archaeology

Dr. Geoffrey M Smith, UK

Field of research:
Archaeology

Research interests:
reconstructing the evolution of hominin behaviour, and especially Neanderthal subsistence strategies, through the analyses of faunal remains from Palaeolithic sites.

Planned research project:
“Key transitions in hominin subsistence behaviour: A zooarchaeological comparison of the Eurasian Lower/Middle Palaeolithic and African Early/Middle Stone Age.”
Throughout human evolution crucial behavioural changes in stone tool technology and hunting practice can be traced through the archaeological record; in particular, from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic in Eurasia and Middle to Later Stone Age in Africa. Both have been researched intensively and correlated to the emergence and spread of modern human behaviour. Conversely, much ambiguity still surrounds earlier transitions, from the Lower to Middle Palaeolithic and Early to Middle Stone Age. These changeovers are mainly studied from a technological perspective, with prepared core flaking strategies replacing handaxes, reflecting a more mobile lifestyle. Similar characterisations of changes in subsistence strategies are, however, still sparse. This project will address this through enhancing two key methodological approaches, age/mortality profiles and GIS spatial analysis. These will be applied to faunal samples of the Early Stone Age occurrences of Duinenfontein 2 and Elandsfontein and the key German Lower Palaeolithic site of Bilzingsleben. Further comparisons with faunal patterns of other transitional African and European sites will then allow for an extensive diachronic and cross-regional approach to a still poorly understood key behavioural shift in human evolution.

Keywords:
Palaeolithic archaeology; zooarchaeology; site taphonomy; behavioural transitions; mortality profiles

German host university:
University of Mainz

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

Website:
https://rgzm.academia.edu/GeoffSmith

Cultural Studies

Dr. Sarah Dornhof, Germany

Field of research:
Cultural anthropology, visual culture studies, postcolonial studies, art history

Research interests:
Contemporary art, global art and transnational culture, art and publics, Moroccan art and cultural politics

Planned research project:
"Art and the Public Sphere: Re-imagining Morocco"
By looking at the field of arts in Morocco, this project seeks to account for the political potentials in art today, the kinds of political effects generated through art, and the struggle about defining political ends for art. ‪Examining diverse art objects, spaces and practices, the general research question is how they define and interpellate a public self and what kinds of critique they seek to enable.
Understanding political art – broadly speaking – as a mode of changing subjectivities and public debate through art, the project examines two important interrelated tendencies in the work of artists in Morocco today: a move towards ‘post-politics’ as a shift from antagonistic debate to universalist notions of human rights on the one hand; and post-Orientalism as a reconfiguration of East-West imaginaries beyond alterity constructions on the other. The aim of the research is to study art practices and discourses from these conceptual perspectives and to analyse their impact on the transformation of the public sphere in contemporary Morocco.

Keywords:
public sphere, art, post-Orientalism, post-politics, subjectivity, governmentality, dissent, human rights, transnationalism

German host university:
Freie Universität Berlin

Host during the mobility phase:
Mohammed V University Rabat-Agdal, Morocco

Website:
https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/SarahDornhof

Dr. Zuzanna Dziuban, Poland

Field of research:
Cultural Studies

Research interests:
post-Holocaust and post-war memory politics, spatialities and materialities of violence, dead body politics, affective dynamics of commemoration

Planned research project:
"Deathscapes – Landscapes – Public Art: Material, Political and Affective Afterlives of Nazi Extermination Camps"
The proposed project offers an interdisciplinary and comprehensive presentation of the afterlives of three National Socialist extermination camps in Poland (Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka). Conceived as an empirically based and culturally oriented historical study, it aims to utilize the perspectives of cultural memory studies, heritage studies, critical spatial theory, dead body studies, affect theory, and art criticism. Borrowing and productively applyingconcepts from these fields of research, it seeks to gain a thorough understanding of the multidimensionality of post-Holocaust landscapes and give voice to their complex ontology. The originally conceptualized notions of ‘deathscape’, ‘landscape’, and ‘public art’ delineate the theoretical frames in which the analysis is located.

Keywords:
post-Holocaust landscapes, materialities, affects, politics of memory

German host university:
University of Konstanz

Host during the mobility phase:
Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Fernando Ramos Arenas, Spain

Field of research:
Media Studies

Research interests: Media and Film Culture and History; New Media; European Cultural History

Planned research project:
"Politics of Cinephilia: An Analysis of the Film Cultural Field in Spain between 1955 and 1967"
This project aims to investigate institutional and discursive aspects of the Spanish film culture during a period of cultural change from 1955 until 1967 under the premises of a dictatorial regime. With some delay in comparison to other European countries, the Spanish film enthusiasts took part in the developments that prepared and accompanied the spread of the New Cinemas all over the European continent. This project wants to analyze specifically how these international developments were received and implemented within a local film culture; a ‘cultural field’ with only limited international contacts that was also permanently under the pressures and limitations of the dictatorship.

Keywords:
Film Culture, Cultural History, International Cultural Transfer, Sociology of Culture, Spain, Dictatorship

German host university:
University of Leipzig

Host during the mobility phase:
Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

Website:
http://www.kmw.uni-leipzig.de/bereiche/medienwissenschaft/mitarbeiter/fernando-ramos-arenas.html

Poster

Ecology

Dr. Sebastian Seibold, Germany

Field of research:
Forest ecology and conservation; Biodiversity; Ecosystem functioning

Research interests:
Interactions between species and their environment with particular focus on effects of human management and ecosystem functioning; Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem processes

Planned research project:
"Ecosystem functioning in forests - How species and functional diversity drive the decomposition of woody debris"

Keywords:
Ecosystem functioning; biodiversity; functional diversity; dead wood; saproxylic

German host university:
Technische Universität München

Hosts during the mobility phase:
U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Georgia, USA
University of Toronto – Scarborough, Canada

Website:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sebastian_Seibold

Poster

Dr. Ahmed Siddig, Sudan

Field of research:
Ecology and Environmental Conservation

Research interests:
Environmental impacts assessment/Ecological monitoring/Development and applications of Ecological indicators, and biodiversity conservation.

Planned research project:
How do water harvesting and vegetation enclosures build resilience in arid ecosystems of sub-Saharan Africa  to global environmental changes?

Keywords:
ecological monitoring, biodiversity assessment and conservation, ecosystem adaptations to climatic change, arid lands ecosystems, sub-Saharan Africa.

German host university:
University of Freiburg

Host during the mobility phase:
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Economics

Dr. Jochen Güntner, Germany

Field of research:
Economics

Research interests:
Monetary Economics, International Finance, Applied Time Series Econometrics

Planned research project:
Bank Risk Taking, Monetary Policy, and the Business Cycle”
In this project, I plan to incorporate financial intermediaries or "banks" that are subject to bankruptcy risk in an otherwise standard dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. The aim is to show that, in the presence of limited liability, individual banks grant credit to ex-ante riskier borrowers than is socially optimal. This externality is expected to deteriorate when bank deposits are explicitly insured by the government or when banks are protected by an implicit bailout guarantee. Moreover, the extent of the externality might be affected by the central bank's monetary policy stance. The market failure in financial intermediation introduces a role for central bank and government interventions. Accordingly, the theoretical framework can be used to analyze whether "conventional" monetary policy, namely an adjustment of short-term interest rates by the central bank, or macroprudential regulation, such as minimum bank capital requirements, for example, can have stabilizing effects on real and financial variables in the model economy.

Keywords:
Bank default, Bank risk taking, Business cycle analysis, Macroprudential policy, Monetary Policy

German host university:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)

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

Website:
https://sites.google.com/site/econjochen/

Geography

Dr. Nadine Reis, Germany

Field of research:
Human Geography, Sociology, Development Studies

Research interests:
State Theory and Cultural Political Economy; Political Ecology and Water Governance; Political Economy of Agriculture and Food Security; Globalisation and Rationalisation in State Bureaucracies; Critical Realism; Regional Focus: Vietnam, Mexico

Planned research project:
Land Control and State Power: The Cultural Political Economy of Land in Mexico’s Urban Periphery”
A significant and under-researched phenomenon in Latin America is recent land control change in urban peripheries, involving massive land use change from agriculture to built environment. This project investigates land control changes in the urban periphery of Central Mexico, and asks how these processes affect the way in which statehood and land control mutually constitute each other. To do so, the research draws on a Cultural Political Economy approach to state power, investigating a) the political-economic dimensions (who gains access to land for doing what) and b) the cultural-discursive dimensions (how is land control discursively contested and legitimised) of land control changes in relation to the state. The project contributes to an enhanced understanding of how statehood is currently contested, reshaped, and (re-)produced through land control.

Keywords:
Land policy; state theory; Cultural Political Economy; Mexico

German host university:
University of Bonn

Hosts during the mobility phase:
Colegio de México, Mexico City, Mexico;
International Institute for Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands

Website:
http://www.geographie.uni-bonn.de/forschung/wissenschafliche-bereiche/geographische-entwicklungsforschung-1/staff/dr.-nadine-reis

Geophysics

Dr. Camilla Cattania, Italy

Field of research:
Geophysics

Research interests:
Earthquake physics, fault mechanics, interaction between seismic and aseismic slip, earthquake interaction

Planned research project:
"Studying the precursory phase of large earthquakes with physical and statistical methods."

Keywords:
Earthquake dynamics, fault simulations, numerical methods, earthquake nucleation

German host university:
University of Potsdam

Host during the mobility phase:
Stanford University, USA

History

Dr. Jürgen Finger, Germany

Field of research:
Modern and Contemporary History, French History

Research interests:
Political and Economic History of Europe in the 19th and 20th c., French History, History of the Third Reich, Business History

Planned research project:
“Markets and Morals. The Moral Economy of French Capitalism 1880-1914/18”
Moral economy defines the limits of what is generally accepted as tolerable, legitimate, and adequate, or even as beneficial to the common good. Or in the opposite, which action is considered as inappropriate, illegitimate and immoral, or even harmful for the counterpart or even for society.
The moral economy of Belle Époque France is analyzed by means of four case studies. The fierce discussion on the vie chère, the heavy increase in prices since 1896, will allow to cover the classic problem of subsistence and of a just price. In a second step, the perspective will be narrowed to the Paris quarter of les Halles, the central markets of the capital. Everyday transactions with goods and food products took place in a context of local and social proximity and were completed face to face. Traditional codes of conduct may have persisted, although conflicts and irregularities were a daily occurrence. A third case study will approach the problem ex negativo by analyzing the failure and personal crisis of the commerçant honnête: his insolvency and bankruptcy. Finally, financial capitalism and its practices will appear on stage. The fourth case study will pay attention to the appropriation and adaption of financial practices by small investors and savers. Their desire to participate in the profits of capitalism was in stark contrast to the often bad reputation of speculation and of the person of the “speculator”. This part of the project will focus on the twilight zones of the financial center of Paris

Keywords:
Economic History, Social History, Morality, Capitalism, Business Ethics, Paris; Belle Époque; kerb market

German host university:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)

Host during the mobility phase:
Centre d’histoire de SciencesPo Paris, France

Website:
http://moraleconomy.hypotheses.org/

Poster

Dr. Bernhard Hollick, Germany

Field of research:
Medieval Latin

Research interests:
Anglolatin literature, reception of Antiquity in the Middle Ages, interaction of poetry, philosophy and art, history of logic

Planned research project:
“Thomas Walsingham and Mythography in Late Medieval St Albans”

Keywords:
Thomas Walsingham, Mythography, St Albans, Classicism, Ovid

German host university:
University of Cologne

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Exeter, UK

Dr. Friedemann Pestel, Germany

Field of research:
Comparative Modern History

Research interests: European and colonial history in the 18th and 19th century; history of classical musical life in the 19th and 20th century; transnational history, cultural transfers, entangled history; French and Haitian Revolutions; political migration and counterrevolution; memory studies

Planned research project:
"Orchestras on the move: Concert Tours and 20th Century International Musical Life"

Keywords:
symphony orchestras, musicians, globalization, cultural diplomacy, musical markets

German host university:
University of Freiburg

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Vienna, Austria

Website:
http://romanisches-westeuropa.geschichte.uni-freiburg.de/personal/personen-pestel

Literature

Dr. Charlton Payne, USA

Field of research:
German Literature

Research interests:
Literary History, Narrative Theory, Cultural Studies, Political Theory, Refugees, Migration and Literature

Planned research project:
"On the Narrative Trail of Refugees: Refugee Stories in German Literature and Culture in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries"

Keywords:
refugees, German literature, narrative, human rights

German host university:
University of Erfurt

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

Website:
https://charltonpayne.wordpress.com

Mathematics

Dr. Simon Lentner, Germany

Field of research:
Mathematics (Algebra, Theoretical Physics)

Research interests:
Hopf algebras, Quantum groups, Nichols algebras, Representation theory, topological and conformal field theories

Planned research project:
The goal of this project is to construct and understand logarithmic quantum field theories from algebraic objects called quantum groups. More precisely, given a finite-dimensional semisimple Lie algebra and a root of unity (more generally, given a Nichols algebra) the goal of the project is to give a rigorous construction of a vertex algebra and analyze its representation category in relation to the representation category of the respective small quantum group, using technology from Hopf- and Nichols algebras. The representation categories (should) correspond to logarithmic conformal field theories, i.e. they are non-semisimple, but have certain finiteness properties, such that they give rise to representations of the mapping class group and modular functions. The construction via screening charges and first examples are due to Feigin, Gainutdinov, Semikhatov, Tipunin, which is where the mobility phase of the research project will be hosted.

Keywords:
logarithmic conformal field theory, quantum group, Nichols algebra, screening charges, Lusztig correspondence

German host university:
University of Hamburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia

Website:
simon.lentner.net

Dr. Frederik Marks, Germany

Field of research:
Mathematics (Algebra)

Research interests:
Representation theory of (finite dimensional) algebras, derived and triangulated categories, universal localisations and (homological) ring epimorphisms, tilting theory

Planned research project:
"Silting modules: A unifying approach to localising and tilting in representation theory"

Keywords:
localisation of rings, localisation of categories, tilting theory, silting module

German host university:
University of Stuttgart

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Verona, Italy

Website:
http://www.iaz.uni-stuttgart.de/LstAGeoAlg/Marks/

Medical and Health Sciences

Mr Yannick Berker, Germany

Field of research:
Theoretical Medicine

Research interests:
Medical Imaging, in particular Positron Emission Tomography; Image Reconstruction Algorithms

Planned research project:
Simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRI) promise shorter scan times and more accurate diagnoses in medical imaging. Compared to PET/CT, new approaches are needed to correct for attenuation of Gamma radiation by the patient due to a lack of MRI-compatible X-radiation sources. Clinically available, alternative methods based on PET or MRI data are not robust enough for routine clinical application. In my dissertation, I have conceived and evaluated a method to extract the attenuation map from coincident Compton-scattered photons. The aim of this project is to use the La-PET scanner at UPenn to evaluate a combination of my proposed method with existing approaches.

Keywords:
Positron Emission Tomography; Attenuation Correction; Compton Scattering

German host university:
RWTH Aachen

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Kirstin Grosse Frie, Germany

Field of research:
International Public Health, Cancer Prevention and Early Detection, Health System Research

Research interests:
Prevention and Care of Non-Communicable Diseases, especially in Low- and Middle-Income countries; Social Determinants of Health

Planned research project:
"Tackling late-stage diagnosis and treatment of Breast cancer in Africa - development and test of an assessment tool in Mali to initiate and evaluate interventions"
Over the past 30 years the number of cases of breast cancer has more than doubled in Africa and it became the most common cancer, in terms of incidence and mortality, in women. At the same time treatment has improved so much that the vast majority of breast cancer patients can now be cured, if diagnosed and treated early. However, most of the patients in Africa are not diagnosed or treated early enough to fully benefit from treatment and, according to regions, 60% to 100% are diagnosed at a late stage.
The aim of this study is to assess factors leading to late stage diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in Mali, Western Africa, as a basis for conceptualising specific public health programmes and their evaluation.

Keywords:
Breast Cancer, Africa

German host university:
University of Halle (Saale)

Host during the mobility phase:
Service d´anatomie pathologique and Service d´hémato-oncologie du centre hospitalo-universitaire du Point G, Bamako, Mali

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/kirstin-grosse-frie/29/8a7/5b0

Dr. Jan Hirschmann, Germany

Field of research:
Neuroscience

Research interests: Neurology, deep brain stimulation

Planned research project:
"Automated tremor detection based on brain signals in patients with Parkinson's disease"
The study is a re-analysis of brain recordings obtained in Parkinson patients receiving surgery for deep brain stimulation. Some brain signals were reported to change as Parkinsonian rest tremor sets in. I will investigate whether it is possible to classify single epochs of brain recordings as tremor-containing or tremor-free, using techniques from machine learning. This will be an important step towards demand-based deep brain stimulation, which is applied only when tremor is present. According to pilot studies, such an approach could have a better clinical effect than chronic stimulation, which is the standard today. Furthermore, it is expected to evoke fewer side effects and use less battery.

Keywords:
Parkinson's disease, deep brain stimulation, classification

German host university:
University of Düsseldorf

Host during the mobility phase:
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour; Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Poster

Dr. Carolin Vogt, Germany

Field of research:
Virology

Research interests:
Post-transcriptional gene regulation and virus-host interactions

Planned research project:
"Target selection of the viral host shut-off factor SOX from Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus"

Keywords:
Virus host shut-off, RNA target selection, Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)

German host university:
Hannover Medical School

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

Philosophy

Dr. Georgios Sagriotis, Greece

Field of research:
Philosophy

Research interests:
Kant, philosophy of history, philosophy of education, political philosophy

Planned research project:
“Education for freedom in the philosophy of Kant”

Keywords:
power of judgment, reflection, autonomy, pragmatic anthropology, teleology, education

German host university:
University of Osnabrück

Host during the mobility phase:
Brown University, USA

Physics

Dr. Martin Eibach, Germany

Field of research:
Nuclear Physics

Research interests:
High-precision mass spectrometry, nuclear structure

Planned research project:

The rapid neutron and proton capture processes, far away from the valley of stability, leave a clear finger print in the natural abundance of nuclides. In particular at their waiting points, expected at nuclear shell closures, nuclides are accumulated. The evolution of shell closures is subject of studies as they can vanish while new ones occur in function of N.  As the mass reflects the sum of all interactions inside the nucleus it is investigated in particular.
Penning trap mass spectrometers are ideally suited for studies of exotic nuclei due their sensitivity and the reachable precision and accuracy. A Single Ion Penning Trap (SIPT) is planned at the LEBIT facility at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) to enable investigation of the shell closures Z=28,50. A key component, the superconducting 7-T magnet, is available on site at NSCL. The delivery of Penning trap structure and detection circuit is expected within the next weeks. During my time at NSCL I plan to finish the installation of SIPT and commission the setup with the successful demonstration of single ion sensitivity. My experience in this field will allow me to start up the system on a short timescale.
This will enable mass measurements being out of reach for the time-of-flight ion cyclotron resonance technique and allows to uniquely study the nuclear shell evolution at Z=28 and Z=50.

Keywords: Nuclear Structure, Penning trap mass spectrometry, Fundamental interactions

German host university:
Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Greifswald

Host during the mobility phase:
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA

Dr. Rachel Fainblat, Germany

Field of research:
Experimental solid state physics

Research interests: Magneto-optics in colloidal quantum dots, single particle spectroscopy

Planned research project:
Energy conversion in doped nanocrystals for solar concentrators and LEDs. The goal of this project is to gain a fundamental understanding of the energy down-conversion processes in nanocrystals doped with lanthanide ions for potential applications in solar concentrators and light emitting devices. Thereby the vision is to develop a design rule for doped nanocrystals by relating optical properties and carrier dynamics to structural features like size and doping level for a given target application, as, e.g., harvesting a broad part of the solar spectrum by converting UV and blue photons to the visible / near infrared range, where the solar concentrator is optimized.

Keywords: Doped nanocrystals, solar concentrator, optical spectroscopy, carrier dynamics

German host university:
University Duisburg-Essen

Host during the mobility phase:
University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Dr. Timon Mehrling, Germany

Field of research:
Physics

Research interests:
My research interests span from numerical mathematics, theoretical physics, computational science to applications of physics innovations in interdisciplinary science. I am especially inspired by the idea of interconnecting the above different scientific areas and I am interested in research with practical applications. My previous research activities and experiences are in high-energy physics, astroparticle physics, laser physics, photon science, plasma physics and accelerator physics. I am enthusiastic about exploring complex scientific problems by means of computational modelling and I am highly interested in the efficient and versatile implementation of numerical algorithms for this purpose.

Planned research project:
"Start-to-end modelling for the realization and optimization of plasma-wakefield-accelerator-driven free-electron lasers"

Keywords: Plasma-based acceleration, Intense laser-plasma interaction, Computational Physics, Particle-In-Cell Method, Free-Electron Lasers

German host university:
University of Hamburg

Host during the mobility phase:
Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal

Poster

Psychology

Dr. Markus Quirin, Germany

Field of research:
Personality & Social Psychology

Research interests: Self-Regulation, Motivation, Personality, Existential Neuroscience

Planned research project:
"Personal Boundaries: How the Brain Processes Own Goals, Others’ Expectations, and Introjects"

Keywords: Motivation, Mindfulness, Action Orientation, Self-Access, Alexithymia, Depression, Alienation, Self-Determination, Identification, Introjection

German host university:
University Hospital Marburg

Hosts during the mobility phase:
Stanford University, USA
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Website: http://www.motivationlab.uni-osnabrueck.de/home.html

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