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University of Malta

University of Malta

171 Projects, page 1 of 35
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101026382
    Overall Budget: 222,074 EURFunder Contribution: 222,074 EUR

    AMPLIFI aims to develop an innovative auxetic, antimicrobial meta-material based on a supramolecular coordination polymer for the design of biomedical devices. Auxetics are unique due to their negative Poisson’s ratio, which imparts superior mechanical qualities when compared to conventional materials. They offer huge potential if used to design biomedical devices such as catheters. There is as yet no synthetic material that demonstrates auxeticity at the nano-level, even if potential auxeticity was demonstrated through simulations. Through AMPLIFI I will design a polymeric structure with superior mechanical strength that offers better patient comfort by virtue of its auxetic properties while also dealing with the challenge of bacterial infections. The project exploits the versatility of supramolecular chemistry of calixarenes or related macrocycles and self-assembly. Appropriate building blocks for a self-assembled auxetic polymer will be identified by MM simulations, and the effect of adding antimicrobial agents studied. The identified coordination polymer will be synthesized, fully characterised and subsequently tested for antimicrobial properties. I have a strong background in supramolecular chemistry which makes AMPLIFI an ideal project for me, and I will be joined by a strong supervisory team at the University of Malta consisting of an expert in auxetics, a renowned microbiologist and a structural chemist. AMPLIFI also boasts of the co-supervision of a leader in calixarene and related macrocyclic chemistry from the University of Parma. AMPLIFI builds on my expertise and enables me to work within a multidisciplinary team at the interface of theoretical chemistry, experimental organic synthesis and microbiology. In short, AMPLIFI provides me with a holistic research and training package to kick-start an independent research path and affords an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the urgent plead for more comfortable and safer biomedical devices.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 630665
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 795633
    Overall Budget: 161,194 EURFunder Contribution: 161,194 EUR

    Ceramic pots are an enduring and resilient document of ancient culture. Often specific to time and place, they are a valuable record which can enlighten our understanding of ancient chronologies, aesthetics, technologies, trade networks and cultural ties. The Maltese islands have a particularly rich, diverse and dynamic ceramic assemblage covering the entire prehistoric period. While the later ceramic assemblages of Bronze Age Malta have received considerable study over the past decade, little archaeometric research has been conducted on the earlier ceramic phases. MaltaPot will address this by exploring the emergence of the earliest prehistoric ceramic phases (namely Għar Dalam, Skorba and Żebbuġ 5000-3800BC) through a series of multi-disciplinary laboratory-based methods including typological analysis (3D laser scanning and digital classification software) and material studies (optical microscopy, LIBS, XRF and XRD). Findings from this project will dramatically increase understanding of the earliest settlers on the Maltese islands and it will also have wider implications for our understanding of Mediterranean archaeology during this important period of Neolithic colonisation by exploring cultural links through typological, technological and material studies. MaltaPot will develop new methodologies for the archival and analysis of prehistoric ceramic assemblages and also advance new methods of displaying and dissemination of results to both the wider public and academics. The fellowship will contribute to the researcher’s career development through the acquisition of advanced skills in archaeometric approaches to ceramic analysis as well as developing skills within the heritage sector through a series of events designed to disseminate her results to the wider public. The project will also serve to consolidate and extend the researchers network of professional contacts within Europe and beyond.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 327455
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 867471
    Overall Budget: 160,049 EURFunder Contribution: 160,049 EUR

    Bottom trawling is one of the most common fishing practices worldwide. It involves towing of nets along the seafloor to harvest benthic and demersal living resources for human consumption or industrial uses. The widespread and intensive use of these fishing activities on the continental margin has raised concerns in the European Union about the sustainability of this practice. The impacts of bottom trawling on the seafloor have been extensively investigated in shallow environments. However, very few studies have addressed the effect of continued trawling activities at depths beyond the shelf break. The main objective of TrawledSeas is to characterise the impact of bottom trawling, in terms of extent, rates and volume change, on the morphology of different geological and climatic deep (>200 m) seafloor settings. The project is based on an interdisciplinary approach that combines the quantitative analysis of high-resolution multibeam data with geophysical and sedimentological information, in situ observations and satellite-based vessel tracks. These data will be provided by leading research groups or derived from European and global databases of open geospatial data. A main component of the methodology consists of the development of a new automated marine landscape mapping technique to quantify the morphological signature of bottom trawling at fine and mesoscale, which will be conducted at the University of Malta and complemented at the Geological Survey of Norway. The collaborative nature of TrawledSeas will reinforce the researcher’s interdisciplinary background and international network. The project will also contribute to the researcher’s career development by providing technical skills on geomorphometry and research expertise on different geological settings, which will provide her with the high scientific profile necessary to develop innovative and integrative projects and to apply for national and European funding calls such as an ERC grant and Horizon 2020.

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