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 Journal of Applied Volcanology, Geochemical Transactions, Sustainable Earth, International Journal of Food Contamination, Energy, Sustainability and Society, and Journal of Cheminformatics.
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.
Paola has been working in science publishing with Springer Nature since 2005 and is now Publisher of journals in the field of earth and environmental sciences.
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.
Daniela Perrotta is research scientist at the Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. Her research interests focus on harnessing innovative data-collection schemes and computational methods to study human mobility, population migration and the spread of infectious diseases.
Jake Whitehead & Peter Newman
Jake Whitehead holds two PhDs in transport science and transport engineering. He is recognized as an international expert in sustainable transport policy and engineering with more than 15 years’ experience working across industry, government and academia in Australia and Europe. Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and is an Editor-in-Chief for Sustainable Earth Reviews. Peter has written 23 books and over 400 papers on sustainable cities and decarbonization policy.
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.
Dr. Lauren Vinnell has a background in applied social psychology. She is interested in understanding peoples' judgments and behavior around preparation for and response to natural hazards like earthquakes, typically using experimental survey design and quantitative analysis.
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).
Sean Paul Doherty
Sean Paul Doherty is an archaeological scientist exploring human-animal-environment interactions through the synthesis of zooarchaeological, biomolecular and historical and evidence. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter.
Ozgur Can Seckin & Onur Varol
Ozgur Can Seckin is an Informatics PhD student at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research focuses on establishing strategies for analyzing online behaviors in order to increase well-being and address public issues using internet data. Onur Varol is an Assistant Professor at the Sabanci University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences and Principal Investigator at the VIRAL Lab. His research focuses on developing techniques to analyze online behaviors to improve individual well-being and address societal problems using online data. Prior to joining Sabanci University, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Northeastern University at the Center for Complex Network Research. He has developed a system called Botometer to detect social bots on Twitter and his team ranked top 3 worldwide at the 2015 DARPA Bot Detection Challenge. He was awarded by The Turkish Science Academy to Young Scientist Awards (2022). He also received the TUBITAK 2247-D National Leader Researcher Grant in 2022.
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.
Eun Lee is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. Her research is on computational social science and data science, emphasizing modeling and analyzing structural properties of social interactions to understand human perception, structured inequalities, and collective behaviors.
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.
Dominik Kowald & Elisabeth Lex
Dominik Kowald is research area manager of the Social Computing research area of Know-Center Graz. He received a PhD in computer science from Graz University of Technology in 2017 with a dissertation in the field of cognitive-inspired recommender systems. Dominik is review editor of the Frontiers in Big Data journal and his current research focuses on transparency, privacy and fairness aspects of recommender systems. Elisabeth Lex is a tenured associate professor of Applied Computer Science at Graz University of Technology (TUG) and PI of the Social Computing Lab at TUG, Austria. Her research interests include (music) recommender systems, psychology-informed recommender systems, user behavior modeling, information retrieval, algorithmic bias, and computational social science.
Meeyoung Cha & Kunwoo Park
Meeyoung Cha is Chief Investigator at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and an Associate Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Her research is on data science with an emphasis on modeling socially relevant information propagation processes. Kunwoo Park is an Assistant Professor at the School of AI Convergence, Soongsil University (SSU), Korea. He is interested in tackling social problems through data science approaches and social data.
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.
Nóra Balogh is a data scientist at Dmlab Ltd., Hungary. Previously she was a teaching assistant and a co-supervisor of a student research group at Aquincum Institute of Technology, Budapest and did physics MSc at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Her work focuses on implementing data science projects in business and industry. Her key interests include managing data science projects, machine learning interpretability, python and data visualisation.
Mauro Bernabei is a researcher of the Italian National Research Council, Institute of BioEconomy. His research activity is focused on wood dating, mainly through the dendrochronological technique but also joining dendrochronology with other dating methodologies like radiocarbon, chemical investigations and spectrometric analysis. Other research fields involve wood anatomy, mainly through the identification of species on wood and charcoal, the study of archaeological wood and the state of conservation on wooden artefacts.
Konstantinos (Kostas) Pelechrinis is an Associated Professor at the Department of Informatics and Networked Systems at the University of Pittsburgh. His research is focused on network and data science with applications on urban informatics and sports analytics. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and he is a recipient of the Army Research Lab young investigator award for his work on multi-layer networks.
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.
Sandra Venghaus & Katharina Böhm
Sandra Venghaus is assistant professor for decision analysis and socio-economic assessment at RWTH Aachen University and leads the research group on "Ethics, Sustainability, and the Resource Nexus" at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE) at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. Her research focuses on the quantitative modeling of complex socio-ecological systems with a special interest in the impacts of political regulation and decision dynamics on the transformation to a sustainable economy. Katharina Böhm studies business administration at RWTH Aachen University. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 2022 and currently pursues her master program majoring in operations research and management. She works as a student assistant at the chair of decision analysis and socio-economic assessment in the school of business and economics focusing on energy and climate research.
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.
Heikki Liimatainen & Miloš Mladenović
Heikki Liimatainen is a Professor of transport transformation and leader of Transport Research Centre Verne at Tampere University. He is a leading scientist in the field of sustainable transport systems in Finland and has a strong record in publishing in the highest-ranking journals in the field of transport and logistics. Miloš Mladenović is an Assistant Professor at Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering group at Aalto University. He has previously held research positions at Virginia Tech and TU Delft. His research interests are partly focused on emerging mobility technologies.
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.
Brian Titus recently retired as a scientist after 34 years with the Canadian Forest Service in Newfoundland and then British Columbia. He studied nutrient cycling and decomposition processes related to sivicultural practices, including harvest residue removals. He began his PhD on the oldest bioenergy trial in Europe in 1980 and was involved in bioenergy-related research for much of his career.
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.
Felix Hoffmann, Fabian Braesemann & Timm Teubner
Felix Hoffmann holds a MSc Industrial Economics from Technische Universität Berlin and a BSc Economics from the University of Amsterdam. His research revolves around the use of alternative data sources in public economics. He works in industry as an analytics and data consultant. Fabian Braesemann is a Departmental Research Lecturer in AI & Work at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. His research focuses on data mining and the statistical analysis of large-scale online data to understand market and information dynamics in a digitally connected world. He is also the Founder and Managing Director of the Datenwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Berlin, a company focused on applying data science to economic, policy, and development problems. Timm Teubner is Professor at the Einstein Center Digital Future at Technische Universität Berlin. He holds a Diploma degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a doctoral degree in Information Systems from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). His research interests include online platforms and multi-sided markets, reputation systems, trust in digital services, online auctions, as well as Internet user behavior.
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 (https://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).
Licia Capra is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, UK. She conducts research in computational social science, using data-driven computational thinking and methods to investigate social science problems and phenomena. Licia has specific expertise and interest in urban informatics, investigating how to extract knowledge from a variety of data sources to better understand the functioning of cities, and to develop technologies and interventions aimed at improving life of citizens.
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/
Egon Willighagen is a researcher in the BiGCaT Department for Bioinformatics and teacher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His research projects focus on using and developing new cheminformatics and chemometrics approaches to explain biological phenomena in metabolic diseases, drug discovery, and toxicology. The research develops and contributes to open source and open data projects including BridgeDb, eNanoMapper, the Chemistry Development Kit (CDK), Bioclipse, and linked open data projects such as WikiPathways, the CHEMINF ontology, and Open PHACTS.
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.
Ruth Ann Armitage & Kay Antúnez de Mayolo
Ruth Ann Armitage is a Professor of Chemistry at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan (USA). She studied chemistry at Thiel College and obtained her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in analytical chemistry. She has been on the faculty at EMU since 2001. Her research focuses on the applications of analytical methods to archaeological and art materials, ranging from determining the composition and age of rock paintings to developing ambient ionization mass spectrometric methods for characterizing dyes in ancient textiles. Through her research at the EMU Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory, she has collaborated with specialists and mentored students from across the humanities and the sciences. Kay Antúnez de Mayolo retired in 2012 after a 24-year career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as an environmental educator. She and her husband Erik relocated to northeastern California where they are part of the local food community as market gardeners. She studied botany and obtained a teaching credential at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. After teaching science in California, Honduras and Peru, she completed an M.S. with a thesis focused on the ethnobotany of Peruvian natural dyes and coloring sources. Her 1989 publication on this topic in Economic Botany has long served as a reference for researchers studying the dye sources of the colorful and complex textiles of ancient Peru. She continues to be fascinated by economic plants and annually plants a big garden that includes dye plants and others that have been overlooked.
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.
Michael Szell is Associate Professor in Data Science at IT University of Copenhagen, and external researcher at ISI Foundation and at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna. His research in human-centric urban data science aims to quantify the pathways towards sustainable mobility.
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.
Carla Intal & Taha Yasseri
Carla Intal is a data analyst at Linkedin, producing thought leadership content for the world's largest professional network. Taha Yasseri is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Geary fellow of Public Policy at the University College Dublin, Ireland.
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 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 (PhD, Tech.; PhD, Econ.) is full professor of Infrastructure & Transport at the University of Oulu, Finland.
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.
Davy manages BMC's blog network and social media channels. He graduated from Keele University with a BSc in Biology with English in 2014.
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.
Malwina holds a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Warsaw and has been working in science publishing with Springer Nature since 2017. Malwina is now Publishing Editor and overseeing a portfolio of journals in the fields of applied physics, materials science and environmental sciences