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Kiel University
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165 Projects, page 1 of 33
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101157312
    Funder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    Exploring the optical responses of materials at the nanoscale is central to various fields of study, including quantum-sensitive measurement metrologies, photovoltaics, and optoelectronic devices. Electron probes have established themselves as important tools for visualizing nano-optical excitations with unprecedented spatial resolution. However, controlling optical excitations and exploring their decoherence dynamics require visualizing the dynamics of the nano-world at sub-femtosecond temporal resolutions. Within the context of our ERC Starting Grant "NanoBeam," we have established and proposed an electron-probe technique that not only allows us to explore dynamics at nanometer spatial and femtosecond temporal resolutions but also does so at a low cost. Unlike state-of-the-art ultrafast electron microscopy, our method does not rely on external laser excitations but rather on internal electron-driven photon sources. To visualize the decoherence dynamics in a variety of systems, including quantum emitters and networks, optical excitations of two-dimensional materials, and semiconducting optoelectronic devices, we plan to merge the electron-driven photon sources with a cathodoluminescence spectroscopy setup based on optical fiber technology. We will design piezo stages and sample holders that enable precise alignment and tuning of the sample, electron-driven photon sources, and fibers inside the microscope while efficiently collecting cathodoluminescence photons. Our electron-driven photon sources are designed to facilitate a high photon yield, allowing for optimal investigation of nonlinear processes. The instrument will be tested and verified for applications in mapping the decoherence dynamics of quantum emitters coupled to photonic structures, optical excitations in two-dimensional materials, and charge transfer dynamics in photovoltaic devices.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 330418
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101085894
    Overall Budget: 2,000,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,000,000 EUR

    The process of biomineralization has profound impacts on the geology of our planet and is an integral part of the global carbon cycle by generating large amounts of CaCO3 bound in coral reefs, chalk mountains and deep sea sediments. Mounting evidence demonstrate that many marine calcifiers generate biominerals by the intracellular formation of CaCO3 from seawater Ca2+ and metabolic CO2. To date, the underlying mechanisms that control the carbonate chemistry in calcifying vesicles are unknown which however will provide ground-breaking insights into a biological process that is capable of transforming a metabolic waste product - CO2 - into a versatile construction material. In the past 5 years my group has developed a unique methodological expertise to study the cellular physiology of calcifying systems. Building on this expertise CarboCell will tackle the important but challenging task to identify and understand the mechanisms of vesicular calcification. The sea urchin larva will serve as a powerful model organism, that represents a prime example for the intracellular formation of CaCO3 and which allows us to employ specifically targeted molecular perturbations in combination with sub-cellular ion and pH recordings. CarboCell will take a stepwise strategy to systematically examine the mechanisms of vesicular calcification on the three main core subjects- carbonate chemistry (WP1), ion/CO2 transport mechanisms (WP2) and vesicular volume regulation and trafficking (WP3). CarboCell will provide a deep mechanistic understanding of the calcification process with strong implications for explaining and predicting responses of marine calcifiers to the global phenomenon of ocean acidification. More importantly, knowledge about the mechanisms that allow organisms to transform CO2 into a construction material will pave the ground for novel, biology-inspired solutions of CO2 capture and utilization – a basic science approach at the core of twenty-first century concerns.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101031091
    Overall Budget: 162,806 EURFunder Contribution: 162,806 EUR

    I will use my MSCA-IF in the Stukenbrock Lab to dissect the molecular interactions between the fungal pathogen, Zymoseptoria tritici, and its host plant, wheat. Despite being the most devastating fungal wheat disease in Europe, little is known about the molecular mechanisms used by Z. tritici to cause disease. I propose to undertake a project that will use my expertise in molecular biology, combined with the Stukenbrock Lab's expertise in fungal genomics and evolution, to build a better understanding of how Z. tritici is able to evade host immune defences in order to grow, develop and, ultimately, induce disease symptoms. Plant pathogens use secreted proteins, described as effectors, to suppress host defences and/or alter host metabolism. However, few effectors from Z. tritici have been characterised. I aim to identify effectors that are used by Z. tritici to suppress wheat immune systems. To select effector candidates, I will use the Stukenbrock Lab's Zymoseptoria genomic resources to compare the variation in effector complements among Z. tritici and its closely related sister species. Z. tritici can infect wheat and not wild grass species. Inversely, Z. tritici's sister species infect wild grasses, but cannot infect wheat. Therefore, I hypothesise that effectors shared among all of these species are candidates as suppressors of conserved plant immune systems, whereas, effectors unique to Z. tritici, and conserved among all isolates of this fungus, are likely involved in host specialisation. I will screen the former set of effector candidates for their ability to suppress BAK1-dependent immune responses (an immune pathway conserved among a divergent range of plant species). I will knock-out the genes encoding the latter set of effectors, and will screen whether the virulence of the resulting mutants is reduced. Combined, these two approaches will help assign functions to more Z. tritici effectors and, thereby, develop new insights into this devastating disease.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101154023
    Funder Contribution: 173,847 EUR

    This interdisciplinary research project aims to construct a philosophical framework for understanding how ancient civilizations, particularly the residents of Pompeii, emotionally engaged with their past through material culture. Building upon theories from situated affectivity, cognitive science, philosophy of emotions, archaeology, philology, history, Roman law, and nostalgia studies, the project will use Pompeii as its main case study. Specifically, it will focus on the city's history between two catastrophes—the earthquake of 62 A.D. and the Vesuvius eruption of 79 A.D. Utilizing the principles of upcycling, affective scripts, and niche construction theory, the project explores how material culture influenced human cognition and emotions. Through a comprehensive examination of literature and historical texts, the research aims to identify and reconstruct affective scripts supported by material culture, offering new insights into the emotional experiences of ancient peoples. This project will not only refine current archaeological conceptualizations but also extend the application of situated affectivity theories in innovative ways. As an early-career researcher, I see this project as the next evolutionary step in my scholarly journey. Undertaking this research under the supervision of Prof Haug at Kiel University will enable me to deepen my expertise in archaeology and extend the boundaries of situated affectivity. Beyond technical expertise, this fellowship with Prof Haug at Kiel University will provide comprehensive training in soft skills like scientific communication, grant writing, and interdisciplinary collaboration. These skills will not only augment my research capabilities but also enhance my employability in both academia and public sector, especially museums and the Italian Ministry of Culture.


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