University of Freiburg: Three researchers at the University of Freiburg receive “STAY!” and “Come and STAY” scholarships

The University of Freiburg and the New University Foundation Freiburg will continue to support three female scientists in 2021: Dr. Marit van Tiel and Daniela Henke will receive the “STAY!” bridge scholarship, and Dr. Maryam Heydari will receive the “Come and STAY!” scholarship. “STAY!” is designed for female researchers with a PhD who would like to continue their academic career but do not yet have follow-up funding. “Come and STAY!” is designed for female researchers who have accepted an academic position abroad and would like to implement their next research project at the University of Freiburg.

The funding of 1,800 euros per month is provided for twelve months and, for those eligible, is supplemented by 300 euros per month per child. During this time, the female scientists can submit an application to lead a research group or prepare a research exposé with which they can apply for project positions and advance their scientific careers. The awarding of the scholarships is coordinated by the Gender and Diversity Office of the University of Freiburg.

Glaciers and climate change

Glaciers play an important role in hydrology because glacial melt is an important contributor to river flow, not only in the mountains but also far downstream. This is especially true during dry periods. This role, however, is changing due to global warming, causing glaciers to retreat. The reduced glacier volume is already having a strong impact on the supply of water from mountain regions. In her research, Dr. Marit van Tiel, a mountain hydrologist, is studying the long-term effects of retreating glaciers on rivers and stream worldwide. Van Tiel studied Hydrology in Wageningen (Netherlands). She works as a research associate at the Chair of Environmental Hydrological Systems. Her dissertation, completed in Freiburg, focused on the compensation effects of glaciers on downstream river flow, especially during warm and dry periods.

More than a socialite

Heinrich Heine called her “the wittiest woman in the universe:” Rahel Levin Varnhagen (1771-1833). The extensive correspondence of the salonnière documents her immense reach; the thinker exchanged letters with about 300 correspondents. In this way, she participated in the political, philosophical, and aesthetic debates of her time. Her influence on Romantic theorizing is nevertheless underexposed in research, since women have long been perceived in literary historiography less as protagonists than as socialites. Daniela Henke explores Levin Varnhagen’s epistolary work in the Department of German as an interdiscursive network in order to be able to work out the significance of the Romantic woman for contemporary debates. Daniela Henke studied philosophy and German studies in Freiburg. From 2015 to 2020, she was a research assistant at the DFG Research Training Group 1767 “Factual and Fictional Narration” where she completed her dissertation entitled “Zerborstene Texte und Wirklichkeiten in der Schwebe. Experimentelles Erzählen über den Nationalsozialismus” (“Fragmented Texts and Reality in the Balance. Experimental Narratives about National Socialism.”).

Earthquakes and their history

Earthquakes are natural hazards to which societies in tectonically active regions are constantly exposed. Sophisticated instruments record seismic activity in the recent past and the present. But what about information on past earthquakes and their influence on past societies? Palaeoseismology studies provide a glimpse into the past. Combined with new dating methods, they can decipher earthquakes of the past 150,000 years and beyond, potentially shedding new light on present-day earthquakes. Dr Maryam Heydari’s research focuses on the timing of past earthquakes and their progression through time. Her work centers on Iran, a country where earthquakes are among the most threatening natural hazards of present and past societies. Maryam Heydari is a geochronologist with degrees in physics and geophysics. She was awarded her PhD in 2020 from the Université Bordeaux Montaigne (France). In her thesis, she focused on the application of Bayesian statistics in combination with luminescence dating to temporally constrain the presence of past cultures in the Late Pleistocene (129,000 years ago) in Iran.

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