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Recently Selected Short Term Grantees

Short Term Grantees Selection 2020/2

Dr Danielle Arigo
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Rowan University; Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, USA

Project Title: Reducing Measurement Reactivity in Physical Activity Research

Dr Arigo Photo

Measurement reactivity is a source if bias in digital assessment of physical activity (PA), though conditions that contribute to its effects are not well understood. This Short-Term Grant will facilitate a collaboration between Dr. Danielle Arigo, a U.S.-based PA researcher, and Dr. Laura König, a Junior Professor at the University of Bayreuth, to achieve 2 research aims: (1) To produce a manuscript comparing PA measurement reactivity across contexts and identifying predictors of reactivity; (2) To generate the project description for a new grant proposal, focused on testing methods for reducing PA measurement reactivity in distinct contexts. During the proposed visit, Drs. Arigo and König will also hold a workshop on digital assessment of weight-related behaviors such as PA. Thus, the work proposed for this Short-Term Grant will provide training opportunities to researchers at University of Bayreuth and promote a collaboration that will help to improve the accuracy of PA measurement.

Disciplines: Physical activity promotion, Digital health, Weight control

Host: Professor Laura  König, Public Health Nutrition

Research stay: TBC


Professor Attila Tanyi
Department of Philosophy (IFF), University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

Project Title: The Role of Reasons in the Ethics of Health Care Allocation

Prof Tanyi Photo

The aim of the project is to develop a new framework for the investigation of allocation issues in health-care. Any agent who makes a claim on health-care resources must provide reasons that support their claim. I propose that distributive justice in health-care resource allocation is therefore best seen as an attempt to maximize reason-based claims of agents on health-care resources. But ought we to make such priority-setting – often called ‘rationing’ – decisions? I propose that the answer to this query also depends on our account of the relevant reasons. In short, the most promising way to approach this area of applied ethics is to focus on the (normative practical) reasons that are relevant to our inquiry. This is a promising way also because in recent years there has been an upsurge in research on reasons. At the same time, this discussion has not made its way into medical ethics. This projects aims to fill this gap by fusing applied, normative and metaethics.

Disciplines: Medical ethics (public health ethics), Metaethics (theory of reasons), Normative ethics (consequentialism)

Host: Professor Julian Fink, Practical Philosophy

Research stay: TBC


Dr Daniel Teh
Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Project Title: Investigation of recombinant spider silk protein encapsulation to enhance upconversion implant biocompatibility and anti-microbial properties

Dr Teh Photo

Upconversion nanoparticles (UCN) are nanotransducer for near-infrared (NIR) to visible light, an important feature to breach the tissue depth penetration limitation of visible light. However, the application of UCN solution directly into tissue, limits its clinical translation. We have fabricated UCN based implants with great flexibility demonstrated in wireless photodynamic therapy (PDT) in mice model brain tumour. In order to enhance further translatability of UCN implant (reduce scarring, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial) recombinant spider silk technology is being explored to coat the UCN implantable. Recombinant spider silk has been demonstrated to be an ideal material that can reduce scarring, inflammation and has anti-bacterial property. We will examine the suitable surface modification for both UCN implant and spider silk for the coating to happen and the durability of the recombinant spider silk, towards the course of PDT.

Disciplines: Nanotechnology, Oncology, Material Science

Host: Professor Thomas Scheibel, Biomaterials 

Research stay: TBC


Dr Thomas Wallnig
Guest Professor, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

Project Title:  Distant Reading Modern Historiography: Three Case Studies

Dr Wallnig Photo

Historiography mirrors the narratives of polities. It evokes imagined spaces, assembles groups of agents, defines codes of conduct, and merges them into historical outlines that are meaningful for the self-concept of political entities. Although the connection between historiography and state/nation building is obvious, it has never been tackled from the perspective of large-scale, algorithm-based corpus analysis similar to the way in which, for example, Franco Moretti has applied “distant reading” to literary studies. During the proposed three-week collaboration in 2021, we plan to work on three test cases: a German/Latin work from the 17th century, textbooks from the 19th century, and a comprehensive list of Catholic historiographers from the early modern Holy Roman Empire. We plan to perform a computer-based analysis of (a) the geographic, (b) the prosopographical, and (c) the conceptual and narrative scope of our three data samples. Interested colleagues will be invited to participate.

Disciplines: Early Modern History; Intellectual History; History of Historiography; Digital Humanities

Host: Dr Stefan Benz, Didactics of History

Research stay: July 2021


Dr Corli Wigley-Coetsee
Scientist, South African National Parks, Scientific Services, Vegetation Ecologist, Savanna and Arid Research Unit, Skukuza, South Africa

Project Title: Determinants of phenological events in African savanna trees

Dr Wigley-Coetsee Photo

In monsoonal, rain-limited climates the timing of phenological events such as fruit production, leaf deployment and leaf abscission determines not only the carbon exchange dynamics of ecosystems, but also the availability of food for animals. The intensity of seed production also varies greatly in intensity and frequency with uncertainty around controls of these dynamics. By using data that has been collected over seven seasons both inside and outside of a protected area, we intend to identify whether resource levels or environmental signals control synchronised reproduction through a state-space modelling approach that will allow us to model the resource status of plants, as well as interactions between climate and resource levels.

Disciplines: Phenology, Herbivore resource dynamics, Climate change implications

Host: Professor Steven Higgins, Plant Ecology

Research stay: TBC


Short Term Grantees Selection 2020/1

Dr Aleksandra Drizo, CanadaHide
Dr Drizo

Dr Aleksandra Drizo 
Chief Executive Officer, Water and Soil Solutions International Ltd., Bedford, Canada

Project Title: Phosphorus Removal, Recycling and Reuse from agricultural runoff

The aim of my research visit is to assist Professor Dr. Stefan Peiffer, the Director of BayCEER, and his graduate students in the research of their current Marie Curie Training Network Project titled “Diffuse phosphorus (P) input to surface waters – new concepts in removal, recycling and management.” This will be an excellent opportunity to expand on these collaborations in the future in development, testing and comparing different P trap systems.

The research visit also fits very well with the research and training of the PhD students in BayNAT, currently enrolled in Innovative Training Network (ITN) under Dr. Stefan Peiffer advisory or coadvisory. I will also provide a short course in P-removal topics to master students in geoecology and environmental chemistry, the topic of which being a central part of the curriculum.

Disciplines: Water Quality, Protection of Waters, Nutrient Management, Best Environmental Management Practices

Host: Professor Stefan Peiffer, Hydrology and Director of the Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research

Research stay: TBC

Dr Eranezhuth Wasan Awin, IndiaHide
Dr Eranezhuth

Dr Eranezhuth Wasan Awin
Postdoctoral researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India

Project Title: Design and processing of novel heterogeneous catalytic nanocomposite fibers based on polymer derived ceramics approach

Lignocellulosic biomass which is an abundant, non-expensive and feasible (due to the non-competitive nature in the food chain) material is an excellent choice of replacement for fossil fuel and has wide application in medicinal chemistry. The development of novel catalytic reaction scheme concepts that mediates the conversion of lignocellulose derived alcohols to aromatic N-heterocycles (hydrogen generation/storage) is a challenge. In order to catalyze the corresponding reaction steps more efficiently and to withstand the strong basic conditions during the synthesis, novel catalysts have to be explored. Hence, the aim of this project is to design of a sustainable reusable heterogeneous catalysts based on transition metals, acknowledging the factors such as cost, selectivity, reusability and activity as well as the conservation of limited noble metal resources.

Disciplines: Ceramics, Heterogeneous catalysts, Hydrogen production

Hosts: PD Dr Günter Motz, Research Group „Precursorkeramik“, Ceramic Materials Engineering, and Professor Rhett Kempe, Inorganic Chemistry II

Research stay: January 2021

Press release: Ceramic nanofibres as catalysts: Visiting scientist from India strengthens Bayreuth hydrogen research

Dr María Josefina Irurzun, ArgentinaHide
Dr Irurzun

Dr María Josefina Irurzun
Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Project Title: Excursions to Bayreuth: travel narrative, identifications and transcultural experiences of Wagner fans (Argentina/Germany, 1890-1940)

The purpose of this project is to study travel narratives of Wagner fans that had made the trip or "pilgrimage" to Bayreuth’s Festival from Buenos Aires, Argentina. We will study their travel narratives with the aim of understanding transculturation processes from the constructive dimension of music in social and cultural terms. Following a diachronic point of view –from late nineteen century to first half of twentieth–, this approach will allow the analysis of cultural encounters, also revealing the cultural distance perceptions of travelers and fans as well as the singularities of the male and female gaze.

Disciplines: Cultural History; Cultural History of Music, Opera Studies, Transculturation Processes; Migration Studies; Global History.

Host: Professor Kordula Knaus, Musicology

Research stay: TBC

Dr Felipe Reinoso Carvalho, ColombiaHide
Dr Reinoso Carvalho

Dr Felipe Reinoso Carvalho
Assistant Professor in Marketing at the Universidad de los Andes School of Management, Bogotá, Colombia

Project Title: Sonic seasoning: Rethinking tasting experiences through music

Gastronomy and the food industry are more and more curious about the role of the human senses in the experience of foods and beverages. In fact, recent evidence suggests that what we hear can also significantly affect tasting experiences, whether we realize it or not.  Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho, together with fellow colleagues from U. Bayreuth, intend to further explore, from a scientific perspective, the particular role of sound in the behavior of consumers while experiencing foods/drinks.  Here, they would be looking for to discuss such role from three different perspectives: Innovation and consumer protection, food & health sciences, and/or transcultural processes.

Disciplines: Sound Engineering, Consumer Behavior, Experience Design

Host: Professor Claas Christian Germelmann, Marketing 

Research stay: Summer 2021

Dr Maxim Vlasov, RussiaHide
Dr Vlasov

Dr Maxim Vlasov
Senior Researcher at the Institute of High Temperature Electrochemistry of the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences and Assistant Professor at the Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Project Title: Structural features of ion-conducting BaLaInO4 for electrochemical applications: Effect of acceptor and donor doping

In January 2021, Assistant Professor Maxim Vlasov stayed in Assistant Professor Mirijam Zobel's group of solid state chemistry in order to elucidate the structure of oxygen-ion, proton and lithium-ion conducting oxides, for instance BaLaInO4 featuring the Ruddlesden-Popper structure. For this, Mr. Vlasov and Ms. Zobel employed both powder X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis based on high energy X-ray scattering data from the state of the art PDF diffractometer in the Zobel laboratory. The combination of this structural insight into the short-range order complements previously obtained electrochemical performance data to ultimately reveal ion transport mechanisms in these materials. The ion-conducting Ruddlesden-Popper oxides were synthesized at the home institute of Mr. Vlasov, the esteemed Institute of High Temperature Electrochemistry in Ekaterinburg, Russia. This scientific cooperation is an extension of the established series of summer schools named Travelling Seminars in the topical field of nanoscale materials and large scale research facilities.

Disciplines: Solid State Physics, Physical Chemistry

Host: Professor Mirijam Zobel, Inorganic Chemistry Mesostructured Materials

Research stay: January 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Maxim Vlasov

Short Term Grantees Selection 2019

Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha, IndiaHide
Prof Bharucha

Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha 
Director, CoHaB Indian Diaspora Centre, University of Mumbai, India

The aim of Professor Bharucha’s visit is to explore the potential, at Bayreuth, for an institutionalized platform for graduate research on diasporic literature and culture. This school would focus on representations of migration and diaspora, in particular with a view to concepts of the future. It would be situated within UBT’s emerging field Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes. In order to initiate conversations on this topic, Professor Bharucha will visit UBT in the summer of 2021 and deliver a lecture on the literature of the Indian diaspora. She has already contributed a print version of this lecture - originially scheduled to be delivered in March 2020 - to an edited volume on Symbols of the Future. The Future of Symbolism by the host, Prof. Klaeger (de Gruyter, December 2020).

Disciplines: Diaspora Studies (Literature and Cinema), Ethnoreligious Literature, Indian Diaspora in Africa, Gender in Indian English Literature

Host: Professor Florian Klaeger, English Literature

Research stay: Summer 2021

Professor Thiago Branquinho de Queiroz, BrazilHide
Prof Branqinho de Queiroz

Professor Thiago Branquinho de Queiroz 
Universidade Federal do ABC, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Santo André, Brazil

Project Title: Charge transfer mechanisms in light converting systems from Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory

We aim to investigate light converting mechanisms in both artificial and nature systems. Donor-acceptor materials that can be used in organic solar cells and bacteriochlorophyll complexes from photosynthetic bacteria will be studied using Time Dependent Density Functional Theory. An important aspect of our work is the use of approximations that are capable of correctly treating charge transfer excitations. We combine those with an appropriate treatment of intermolecular interactions and long-range dielectric screening coming from solvation effects. Our long-term aim is to contribute to the development of materials that can efficiently convert light to other useful forms of energy.

Disciplines: Condensed Matter Physics, Quantum Mechanics

​Host: Professor Stephan Kümmel, Theoretical Physics IV

Research stay: TBC

Professor Olga Bruyaka Collignon, USAHide
Prof Bruyaka Collignon

Professor Olga Bruyaka Collignon
West Virginia University, USA

Project Title: Organizational Digital Identity: Antecedents and Consequences

Digital technologies and digitization of organizational processes constitute increasingly relevant changes in today’s business environment calling for reconsideration of the bases for the normally accepted conception of identity. The objective of our research project is to develop the concept of organizational digital identity and answer the following questions: How groups within and across organizations develop shared digital identity? What are potential benefits of such shared digital identity? We define organizational digital identity as the collective self-concept(s) of an in-group towards the creation, application, development, and emergence of digital technology built on shared fondness, compassion, and proclivity towards digital technology.

Discipline: Strategic Management

Host: Professor Ricarda Bouncken, Strategic Management and Organisation

Research stay: TBC

Professor Helge Dedek, CanadaHide
Prof Dedek

Professor Helge Dedek
Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montréal, Canada

Project Title: “Darker legacies”: Colonialism and “Comparative Law”

This project, which forms part of a larger undertaking I have been pursuing since 2017, seeks to explore the role of “comparative law” as intellectually legitimizing colonialism and even actively partaking in the in the colonial project. The method of comparison that gained currency in the 19th century is intricately intertwined with contemporaneous discourses on “civilization” and “race“ and instrumental in establishing the “colonial difference”.

Disciplines: Comparative Legal Studies, Legal History

Host: Professor Dr. Martin Schmidt-Kessel, German and European Consumer Law and Private Law as well as Comparative Law

Research stay: Spring 2022

Professor Mostapha Diss, France Hide
Prof Diss

Professor Mostapha Diss
Professor of Economics, CRESE, Université of Franche-Comté, France 

Project Title: Preference Rankings and Proportional Representation: Mismatches in Germany, 2005-2017

As with all proportional list systems, the German system is afflicted by a fundamental inconsistency known as the More-Preferred-Less-Seats-Paradox. Although this has been known to be a theoretical possibility for a long time, it has never been demonstrated empirically for Germany. We follow a method previously applied to studies of elections in Denmark (1973–2005) and The Netherlands (1982–1994) that reconstructs these preference rankings from opinion polling data. We use flash polls that contain “thermometer data” on party preferences conducted the week before polling day for the Federal Elections in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017. The main finding is that each of the elections has been afflicted by the paradox. Qualitatively, it is arguable that the occurrence of the paradox in 2005 and 2009 is relatively benign. But in 2013 and 2017 the paradox took on a different dimension. Firstly, in 2013 the liberal Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) actually dropped out of parliament although being preferred over the leftwing party DIE LINKE, which was the so-called Condorcet-loser (or least-preferred party). DIE LINKE was the third largest faction in the Parliament and the official opposition. Then in 2017, the populist rightwing party, Alternative für Deutschland (AFD), received the third largest seat share although, as with DIE LINKE in the previous election, it was the Condorcet-loser and it too has become the official opposition. This suggests that the current system has the potential to distort the representation of voter preferences. We discuss the source of the paradox and the normative implications of these results by placing them in the context of representative and epistemic conceptions of democracy.

Disciplines: Economics, Political Science

Host: Professor Frank Steffen, Economics

Research stay: TBC

Dr Yu Dong, AustraliaHide
Dr Dong

Dr Yu Dong
School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Australia

Project Title: Mechanical, Thermal and Electrical Properties of Polylactic Acid (PLA)/Bamboo Charcoal (BC) Multifunctional Bionanocomposites

PLA is a popular biodegradable polymer used in material packaging, biomedical engineering and pharmaceutical devices. The incorporation of nanofillers in polymer nanocomposites has been widely investigated while the study on bamboo charcoal (BC) nanoparticles is still at its infant stage despite their abundant resources, high surface areas, degree of porosity and absorption ability used for pollutant removal and gas purification. This project aims to successfully fabricate PLA/BC bionanocomposites using twin screw extrusion and compression moulding and simultaneously enhanced mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of tailored PLA/BC bionanocomposites as multifunctional materials to deeply understand their good processing-structure-property relationship.

Disciplines: Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Host: Professor Volker Altstädt, Polymer Engineering

Research stay: Mid or late 2021

Dr Remco W.A. Havenith, The NetherlandsHide
Dr Havenith

Dr Remco W.A. Havenith
Stratingh Institute for Chemistry and Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Project Title: Modelling Deposition of Organic Photovoltaic Materials in Electric Fields

Photovoltaic materials are promising candidates for facilitating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have properties, such as being flexible and light weight that make them attractive for specialty applications. The efficiency of OPV depends on many factors, and one is the morphology of the material, which can be steered by electric fields.  Here we will do computer simulations of the formation of the films under control of electric fields, with the aim to be able to control the morphology in the production process of OPV in order to improve their efficiency.

Disciplines: Theoretical Chemistry, Organic Photovoltaics, Computational Modelling

​Host: Junior-Professor Eva M. Herzig, Dynamics and Structure Formation

Research stay: TBC

Dr Niloofar Karimian, AustraliaHide
Dr Karimian

Dr Niloofar Karimian
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University, Australia

Project Title: Antimony Mobility and Speciation in Complex, Redox-Active Mineral System

This project aims to advance our fundamental understanding on the geochemistry of antimony – a critical mineral resource and environmental pollutant of growing concern that plays a growing role in our daily lives. This will be achieved by investigating the interplay between antimony and metal oxides in multi-mineral systems. This project will bring together a combination of advanced analytical tools and techniques to examine antimony –iron and manganese interactions in experimental mixed mineral systems. The expected outcomes will provide novel insights into refined strategies to manipulate coupling between antimony mobility and iron and manganese cycling for improved rehabilitation of degraded landscapes.

Disciplines: Soil Science Engineering, Environmental Geochemistry

Host: Professor Britta Planer-Friedrich, Environmental Geochemistry

Research stay: Winter 2021

Dr Dmitry Kolomenskiy, JapanHide
Dr Kolomenskiy

Dr Dmitry Kolomenskiy
Global Scientific Information and Computing Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Project Title: Energetic optimization of spatial arrangement of fish swimming in formation

Fluid dynamics plays an important role in our understanding of animal locomotion. The topic of this collaboration concerns with fish schooling, which refers to a group of fish swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner. We are developing an analytical model based on approximation of the far flow field induced by an individual swimmer represented as a circular vortex ring. It will help to assess hydrodynamic advantages of schooling and evaluate potential benefit that swimming in a group can offer to small robotic underwater swimmers.

Disciplines: Fluid Mechanics, Computational Mechanics

Host: Professor Jörn Sesterhenn, Technical Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics

Research stay: TBC

Professor Heather Viles, United KingdomHide
Professor Viles

Professor Heather Viles
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Professor Heather Viles from the University of Oxford will visit Bayreuth to collaborate with Professor Dr Oliver Sass on ‘Heritage Hydrology’. The aim of the visit is to lay the foundations of an innovative research project on the interactions between the hydrological cycle and the deterioration of built heritage. We will co-design an instrumental setup for a proposed pan-European network of heritage hydrological observatories, draft a proposal for funding, and co-author a review paper setting out the challenges for this research area.

Disciplines: Geomorphology, Heritage Science

Host: Professor Oliver Sass, Geomorphology

Research stay: TBC


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