About this blog

BMC On Physical Sciences blog presents insights and opinions on a wide range of subjects within physical and applied sciences such as physics, chemistry, engineering, energy, material science and computer science.

Our content comes from our rapidly growing portfolio of BMC branded, Open Access physical and applied science journals such as BMC Chemistry, Journal of Applied Volcanology, Geochemical Transactions, BMC Energy, Sustainable Earth, and Big Data Analytics.

As well as writing about the research we publish, this blog is a place to read discussions on conferences, insights into journal developments, and commentary on news in the field.

You can expect to read posts written by our staff, authors who publish in our journals, Editorial Board Members and a variety of other guest bloggers.


Luca Calatroni, Marie D'Autume, Rob Hocking, Stella Panayotova, Simone Parisotto, Paola Ricciardi & Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb

Luca Calatroni is a Hadamard research fellow working at the Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées (CMAP) of the École Polytechnique, France. He completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics within the Cambridge Image Analysis group at the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2015 and joined the CMAP in 2016 after a one-year post-doc Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship at the University of Genova, Italy. His research interests lie in the fields of mathematical image processing, inverse problems and non-smooth optimisation continuous optimisation. Marie d'Autume is a PhD student at CMLA, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France. Her research interests lie in image processing, texturing of 3D reconstructions and satellite images. Rob Hocking is a postdoctoral researcher in the scientific computing lab at the University of British Columbia. He received his PhD in math at the University of Cambridge, focusing on image inpainting as it applies to 3D conversion. His interests include image processing, computer graphics and visualization, multigrid, and mathematical art. Stella Panayotova has an MA in Classics from the University of Sofia (1990) and a DPhil in medieval history from the University of Oxford (1998). She has been Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books at the Fitzwilliam Museum since 2000, and Director of the Cambridge Illuminations research project (since Oct. 2004) and of the MINIARE research project (since Oct. 2011). Simone Parisotto is a PhD Student at the Cambridge Centre for Analysis (CCA) of the University of Cambridge (UK), where he is also a member of the Cambridge Image Analysis group, led by Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb. His research interests include inverse, variational and optimization problems in image analysis, with outlook to Cultural Heritage conservation challenges. Paola Ricciardi is a Research Scientist at the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, UK) where she is responsible for the scientific aspects of the MINIARE research project (www.miniare.org). She holds a PhD in Cultural Heritage Science from the University of Florence (2008). Her main research interests include the technical analysis of cultural heritage objects; the study of artists’ materials and techniques; and the transfer of knowledge between artists and craftsmen working in different media. Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb is Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge, UK, where she heads the Cambridge Image Analysis Group at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Her research interests are in mathematical imaging, inverse problems, partial differential equations and variational models.

Tony McNally

Tony McNally is Professor of Nanocomposites and the founder and first Director of the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM) in WMG at the University of Warwick, UK. His research interests include, composites of 0D/1D/2D materials and polymers; functionalisation of nanomaterials; processing-structure-property relationships in polymer nanocomposites; electrical and rheological percolation; mechanochemistry and polymer modified bitumen.

Sarah Fiddyment & Matthew Teasdale

Sarah Fiddyment is a biochemist specialising in the proteomic analysis of parchment to help understand the methods of production and history of use of manuscripts. She is currently a British Academy Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of York. Matthew Teasdale is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at the University of York, where he studies how sequencing the DNA from parchment manuscripts can help to understand the genetic history of domestic animals.

Cristina Duran-Casablancas & Matija Strlič

Cristina Duran-Casablancas is a PhD student at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) and conservator at the Amsterdam City Archives. Her present research explores the use of Systems modelling to evaluate the effect of preservation actions during the lifetime of collections. Matija Strlič is Professor of Heritage Science at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage and Deputy Director of EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA).

Silvia Centeno & Dorothy Mahon

Silvia A. Centeno is a Research Scientist in the Department of Scientific Research at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she studies artists' materials and techniques and deterioration processes in paintings, photographs, and works of art on paper. Dorothy Mahon is a Paintings Conservator in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum where she examines and conserves paintings spanning the collection.

Francesco Caruso, Sara Mantellato, Noëlle L.W. Streeton & Tine Frøysaker

Francesco Caruso (1981), Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Conservation and Conservation Science at the University of Oslo since 2016. His main research interests lie in the development and application of analytical methods for the conservation of cultural heritage and the materials science aspects related to it. Sara Mantellato (1982), Ph.D., is postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich since 2018 (and Ph.D. student from 2012 to 2018). She is mainly interested in the rheological properties of admixed cementitious systems and analytical methods for their characterisation. Noëlle L.W. Streeton (1968), Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Conservation at the University of Oslo since 2010. Her main research interests concern historical painting practices, late-medieval painting and polychrome sculpture, chemistry of artists’ materials, and the politics of cultural heritage. Tine Frøysaker (1957), Ph.D., is Professor of Paintings Conservation at the University of Oslo since 2011 (and Associate Professor from 2005 to 2011). She is, at present, interested in the conservation and materials of Edvard Munch and Harriet Backer and of medieval painting and polychrome sculpture.

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is a PhD student at WMG - The University of Warwick. He is approaching the end of his studies, which concern the application of 3D Printing and other cutting-edge visualisation methodologies in Cultural Heritage. His wider research interests include Palaeontology, Conservation and User Experience methodologies.

Jørgen Wadum

Jørgen Wadum is professor emeritus and director of Wadum Art Technological Studies (WATS) in Copenhagen. He was a paintings conservator at the Mauritshuis from 1990 to 2005. Following this, he was keeper of conservation, director of the Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK), and professor in conservation at the University of Amsterdam. His interests include technical art history and the meaning of making of art, often in an international and interdisciplinary environment.

Genya Ishigami

Genya Ishigami is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Keio University, Japan. He has been a visiting associate professor at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency since 2017. His research interests are in the areas of mobility analysis, vehicle-terrain interaction mechanics, perception, navigation and control, for application to field robotics such as planetary exploration robots, unmanned ground vehicles, and construction machines. He is a chapter author of the Springer Handbook of Robotics and the International Handbook of Space Technology. He currently serves as an associate editor on IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and also as an editor on Journal of Terramechanics.

Jan Lindsay

Associate Professor Jan Lindsay is a volcanologist in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where her position is supported by a Fellowship from the New Zealand Earthquake Commission. She has an MSc in Geology from the University of Auckland, and a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Giessen in Germany. She has held positions at GNS Science in Taupo, New Zealand; the GeoResearch Centre (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany; and the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) and is co-leader of the IAVCEI working Group on Volcanic Hazard Mapping. She is a Past President of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand.

Brock Madsen

Brock holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, his hometown university. He joined Springer Nature in 2018 as an Assistant Editor for The BMC Series where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of biomedical journals. Brock now holds the position of Journal Development Editor for the Springer Engineering journals portfolio.

Jordy Davelaar

Jordy Davelaar is a PhD-student at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His work focuses on plasma simulation and radiation models of accreting supermassive black holes within the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration. During his PhD he was selected as a Face of Science by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences

Josep Arús-Pous and colleagues

Josep Arús-Pous studied Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). After working in the private sector for seven years, he gained a further MSc in Bioinformatics at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona. He is currently in the last year of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate (BIGCHEM) at both the University of Bern (with Prof. Jean-Louis Reymond) and AstraZeneca Gothenburg (with Dr. Hongming Chen and Dr. Ola Engkvist). His main research focus is on using intensive computational tools and deep learning to develop new methods of chemical space exploration. Ola Engkvist completed his PhD in Computational Chemistry at the University of Lund and postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and the Czech Academy of Sciences. He joined AstraZeneca in 2004 and currently leads the Discovery Sciences Computational Chemistry team within BioPharmaceuticals R&D, providing computational solutions for drug discovery. Esben Jannik Bjerrum completed his PhD in Computational Chemistry at Copenhagen University. He has since worked both in academia, industry and as an independent consultant. In 2017 he went from basement hacker to researcher with significant contributions to the deep learning for chemistry renaissance. He joined Astrazeneca in 2018 where he currently works with development of de novo design algorithms and deep learning assisted retrosynthetic planning. He’s the lead author of cheminformania.com. Jean-Louis Reymond is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the ETH Zürich and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Lausanne on natural products synthesis (1989). After a Post-Doc and Assistant Professorship at the Scripps Research Institute, he joined the University of Bern (1997). His research focuses on the enumeration and visualization of chemical space for small molecule drug discovery, the synthesis of new molecules from GDB (http://gdb.unibe.ch), and the design and synthesis of peptide dendrimers and polycyclic peptides as antimicrobials and for nucleic acids delivery. He is the author of > 300 scientific publications and reviews (h = 62).

Shuro Nakajima

Shuro is currently a professor at the Department of Systems Engineering, Wakayama University, Japan. His research interests include personal mobility vehicles, mobile robots, and intelligent vehicles. RT-Mover P-WA, his innovation, received the fourth place award in the powered wheelchair discipline at Cybathlon, in 2016. Lab: https://www.wakayama-u.ac.jp/~nakajima/

Rajarshi Guha

Rajarshi Guha is the Associate Director of Informatics at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he leads the cheminformatics group which tackles problems in cheminfrormatics ranging from high throughput screening analyses to characterizing screening libraries and chemogenomic studies.

Kaare Lund Rasmussen & Jakob Povl Holck

Kaare Lund Rasmussen is professor of archaeometry and leader of the research group CHART, Cultural Heritage and Archaeometric Research Team at the University of Southern Denmark. He uses analytical chemistry to investigate cultural heritage objects together with archaeologists, historians and theologians in a cross-disciplinary way. Jakob Povl Holck is a Research Librarian at the University Library of Southern Denmark. He is part of the university library’s special collection unit and is also a board member for the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. In particular, he is engaged in interdisciplinary activities, bridging the library with different departments at the university and parts of the Danish industry.

Dr Capucine Korenberg

Dr Capucine Korenberg has worked as a conservation scientist at the British Museum for more than 15 years. Her research focusses on assessing the suitability of conservation treatments for artworks and antiquities and understanding the deterioration processes in these objects with a view of finding ways to better preserve them. Following a major exhibition on Hokusai (the artist who designed The Great Wave) at the British Museum in 2017, Capucine has developed a strong interest in the study of Japanese woodblock prints.

Donal Hill & Marianna Fontana

Donal Hill is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, and a member of the LHCb collaboration at CERN. His research focuses on the measurement of fundamental Standard Model parameters using B meson decays, and the calibration of charged particle identification (PID) performance. He also studies B meson decays to final states with tau leptons, in order to perform searches for lepton flavour universality violation. Marianna Fontana is a CERN fellow researcher in the LHCb experiment. Her research activities focus on the search for New Physics effects in the flavour physics sector. She studies rare decays of mesons containing charm quarks and and she contributes to the developments of the muon identification software for the upcoming LHCb upgrade.

Alexandra Millonig & Sonja Haustein

Dr. Alexandra Millonig is a Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in the area of human factors and mobility behaviour research. She has over fifteen years of experience in developing, conducting and coordinating national and international research projects and has become internationally visible as a dedicated expert within the research domains of human factors in mobility, transport equity and gender issues, and mobility behaviour change. Dr. Sonja Haustein is a Senior Researcher in the Transport Psychology Group at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Her research is concerned with understanding transport related choices and thereby providing the basis for interventions that facilitate greener, safer, and more inclusive transport. Focus areas include behavioural and environmental effects of emerging transport forms; travel socialization and mobility culture; attitude based-segmentation and theory-based interventions.

Marit Lehne

Marit Lehne has an MA in objects conservation (2018), for which she received full marks, and has an MA in aesthetical studies (2014), both from the University of Oslo. She is currently working as an object conservator at Tromsø University Museum – UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Pekka Leviäkangas

Pekka Leviäkangas (PhD, Tech.; PhD, Econ.) is full professor of Infrastructure & Transport at the University of Oulu, Finland.

Matthew Smyllie

Matthew holds an MChem in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield and an MSc in Forensic Medical Sciences from Queen Mary, University of London. Working in scientific publishing since 2010, Matthew joined Springer Nature in July 2015 as a Journal Development Editor. Originally hailing from near Manchester, UK, Matthew is now based in Heidelberg, Germany.

Janet G. Douglas

Janet G. Douglas is an Emeritus Research Scientist, and the former Head of Technical Studies at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute in Suitland, MD. She was a Conservation Scientist at the Freer Sackler’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research for over 25 years, where her research focused on technical studies of Asian works of art and archaeology such as bronze, mineral pigments, stone, and jade.

Ana Valente

Ana studied astrophysics and cosmology at the universities of Porto and Heidelberg. She joined Springer Nature in 2016 as development editor of open-access journals in physical sciences.

Davy Falkner

Davy manages BMC's blog network and social media channels. He graduated from Keele University with a BSc in Biology with English in 2014.

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Samuel Winthrop

Samuel has a background in medicinal biochemistry, and has worked in a variety of roles in the STM publishing industry since 2010. He is currently a Journal Development Manager for Springer Nature focussing on open-access publications in chemistry and data science.

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