Film Portraits of Humboldtians

"Brilliant Minds"

The following film portraits of young Humboldtians have been produced by Deutsche Welle TV. The station features “Brilliant Minds”, junior researchers from all over the world who are living and working in Germany.

Ulf Andersson Ørom

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2012, Molecular Biology
Ulf Andersson Ørom pursues his research in Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. The 33-year-old Dane heads a team there looking at genes that are key to development.

Trevor McIntyre

International Climate Protection Fellowship 2012, Zoology
33-year old zoologist Trevor McIntyre has a scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. He wants to find out how seals are adapting to climate change.

Marga Lensen

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2006, Chemistry
Marga Lensen from the Netherlands is a junior professor of chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin. Her speciality is developing nanopatterned biomaterials.They can be used in biomedical applications -- for example, in tissue engineering and to improve the surfaces of implants.

Patricia Schady

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2012, Astrophysics
British scientist Patricia Schady works at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. Her specialist area is gamma ray bursts. They mark the death of a star and the creation of a black hole. These celestial events release huge amounts of energy within a few seconds, and glow for weeks afterwards. But around of a third of gamma ray bursts do not continue to glow in this way. Schady is studying this fascinating phenomenon from her lab in Garching and from high in the Bavarian Alps.

Denis Andrienko

Humboldt Research Fellow 2002, Theoretical Physics
Denis Andrienko, a physicist from Ukraine, works at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. There he heads the research team focussed on 'Organic Electronics', which is developing plastics that for example could be used to build flexible solar units for new construction applications.

Mehul Bhatt

Humboldt Research Fellow 2008, Applied computer science
From Bombay to Bremen: Dr. Mehul Bhatt is a long way from home, but is in any case involved in virtual worlds. He specializes in spatial cognition. With the help of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he’s looking into how people behave in spaces that do not even exist and where the normal laws of nature do not always apply.

George V. Bondor

Roman Herzog Research Fellow 2006, Philosophy
George Bondor comes from Romania. From 2006 to 2007, he conducted research at Freiburg University's Institute of Philosophy. He is interested in the influence of the individual on the course of history and vice versa – how history influences the individual.

Ferdinando Cicalese

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2004, Informatics
Ferdinando Cicalese comes from Italy and has been carrying out research at Bielefeld University since 2004. He works together with biologists, using algorithms to try to find patterns in the mass of data emerging from genetic research – the basis for models the biologists should be able to use for their own investigations.

Olga Holtz

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2006, Numerical analysis
Olga Holtz is a Russian mathematician from Chelyabinsk in the Urals. She is investigating ways of making the computer calculation of huge amounts of data faster and more reliable at TU Berlin.

Shigeyoshi Inoue

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2010, Inorganic Chemistry
Shigeyoshi Inoue from Japan is currently pursuing a career in chemistry at the Technical University Berlin. His field of research is the production and characterization of novel molecules such as chemical combinations of silicon and carbon. Organic silicon compounds aren't found in nature, but they could provide the basis for a whole new range of useful materials in both chemistry and medicine.

Marko Kralj

Humboldt Research Fellow 2005, Surface physics
Marko Kralj comes from Croatia. As a Humboldt Fellow, he has been conducting research at the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at Bonn University. Kralj is developing precisely tailored materials with new properties on the nanoscale, such as metals with a special magnetic profile. In future they could be used to produce even smaller and more powerful processors for computers.

Maggi Wai Han Leung

Humboldt Research Fellow 2006, Cultural geography
Every year, ten of thousands of Chinese come to Germany, as tourists and students, or to make their lives here. They are the focus of interest for Maggi Leung, a researcher who examined how her fellow Chinese made their way in Germany 9,000 kilometres from home at Bonn University.

Peter Maitz

Humboldt Research Fellow 2006, Historical linguistics
Peter Maitz was born in a small Hungarian town close to the Austrian border and started learning German at the age of six. He is fascinated by the everyday quality of language. ”It’s so omnipresent”, he comments “that we don’t usually think about it at all.”

Angelos Michaelides

Humboldt Research Fellow 2004, Surface physics
Angelos Michaelides comes from Ireland and works in the field of quantum mechanics. At the Max Planck Society’s Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin he investigated fundamental processes like the formation of ice. What exactly happens on the atomic level when water changes into ice?

Daniele Oriti

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2008, Theoretical physics
Daniele Oriti comes from Italy and works at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam. The 33 year old physicist and his research team are seeking to gain new insights into the early universe.

Berengere Parise

Humboldt Research Fellow 2005, Stellar physics
Bérengère Parise works at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn. There, the French scientist leads her own research group. The 32-year-old wants to know how stars like our sun came into being.

Roberto Rinaldi

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2010, Organic-chemical Technology
Roberto Rinaldi is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Mülheim on the Ruhr. He is looking for a way to use agricultural waste to generate energy.

Yamirka Rojas-Agramonte

Georg Forster Research Fellow 2005, Geodynamics
Yamirka Rojas-Agramonte from Cuba conducted research at Mainz University from 2005 to 2008. The question that interests her is how Cuba and the other Caribbean islands came into existence? What role did the various tectonic plates play in the process?

Sylvie Roke

Humboldt Research Fellow 2005, Interfacial, boundary layer and surface chemistry
At the age of 28, Sylvie Roke from the Netherlands already headed an independent junior research group at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart. She has a doctorate in both chemistry and physics. The young researcher is particularly interested in processes in and on surfaces. To this end, she has developed a new technique for visualising molecular processes on what she terms ”hidden interfaces.”

Tricia Striano

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2004, Psychology
Tricia Striano was born in the United States. She specialised in developmental psychology and has been living and working in Germany since 2000. On the strength of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, she has built up the infant development lab at the Centre for Advanced Studies at Leipzig University. Her research focuses on social cognition in infants from birth to 12 months.

Mia Swart

Humboldt Research Fellow 2007, International Criminal Law
Mia Swart comes form South Africa. She is investigating how and on what legal basis countries make reparations, for example after the Holocaust. She hopes to expedite the issue of compensation following apartheid in South Africa.

Mirka Uhlirova

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Winner 2008, Molecular genetics
The Czech geneticist Mirka Uhlirova heads her own research group at Cologne University’s Institute for Genetics. She is using the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to investigate the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of cancer.

Alexander Zakhidov

Humboldt Research Fellow 2009, Solid state physics
Alexander Zakhidov from Russia is a researcher at Dresden University of Technology. The physicist specialized in OLEDs - organic light-emitting diodes. He is trying to make OLED displays more colorful.



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