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University of Basel

diss:kurs – Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs of the University of Basel Present Their Research

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diss:kurs is all about doctoral and postdoctoral research: Doctoral candidates and postdocs from various disciplines provide insight into their project in inspiring short presentations. The event is aimed at anyone who is interested in doing or is already pursuing a PhD or who is curious about the research conducted at the University of Basel

diss:kurs 2022

On May 12, 2022, eight doctoral candidates and postdocs of the University of Basel presented their own research project to an academic and wider public at Theater Tabourettli. Impressions of the event and the videos of the presentations can be found here:

Carolin Sommer-Trembo, Postdoc, Environmental Sciences

In the face of a worldwide biodiversity crisis, it is more important than ever before to understand how biodiversity works. The biological mechanism being responsible for our biodiversity is called speciation. Carolin Sommer-Trembo explains how the speciation process can be shaped by differences in animal personality, particularly by different levels of curiosity.


Kathrin Gabler, Postdoc, Egyptology & Stephan Unter, PhD Candidate, Computer Science

In the ‘Crossing Boundaries’ Project, the researchers approach a large archive of ancient Egyptian papyri, contextualised and interdisciplinary. While Kathrin Gabler uses an Egyptological and philological perspective on the material, Stephan Unter accesses the papyri from a technical and informatics point of view, applying machine learning techniques to a fragmentary papyrus puzzle. Together, they preserve the past for the future, using modern methods and tools.


Priska Zuber, Postdoc, Psychology

When we get older, our working memory naturally declines and it gets difficult to suppress distractors during a task that relies on working memory. As a consequence, daily life activities can get challenging. Priska Zuber discusses the role of distractors in improving working memory as a smartphone training in elderly adults.


Umut Kilik, PhD Candidate, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Humans reshaped the biosphere by adapting to significant life changes along the course of evolution. In this talk, Umut Kilik will be sharing the perspective of finding the uniquely human features of our guts and how they could guide us to understand gut diseases with the help of organoid models.


Ana Zora Maspoli, Postdoktorandin, Provinzialrömische Archäologie

In der Geschichte der Menschheit haben Rituale schon immer Halt und Struktur in schwierigen Situationen gegeben. Ana Maspoli zeigt anhand von Bestattungspraktiken und Ritualen aus dem römischen Vindonissa (CH), wie die Menschen in der Vergangenheit mit dem Tod umgegangen sind und was bis heute von Bedeutung geblieben ist.


Abaas Karim, Doktorand, Near & Middle Eastern Studies

In seiner Forschungsarbeit zeigt Abaas Karim auf, dass nicht die Teilung des Irak, sondern die föderalistische Konsensdemokratie eine geeignete Lösung für den Irak und die Kurdenfrage im Irak darstellen kann.


Anja Fankhauser, Doktorandin, Rechtswissenschaft

Der Brand eines Lagergebäudes in Schweizerhalle im November 1986 führte zu einem der schlimmsten Umweltereignisse der Schweiz und fand internationale Beachtung. In ihrem Vortrag erläutert Anja Fankhauser sowohl die Umweltfolgen als auch die rechtlichen Konsequenzen dieser Katastrophe. Der Fokus liegt in rechtlicher Hinsicht auf der Entstehung der eidgenössischen Störfallverordnung.


diss:kurs 2020

At our online event on November 19, 2020, seven (post)doctoral students gave an insight into their research. The exciting talks and presentations reflect the diversity of research at the University of Basel very well. All videos of the presentations are available here:

Tamara Aderneuer, PhD Candidate, Physics

Many applications such as e.g. foils to reduce glare in for lighting in offices use complex surface shapes to redirect light. Developments for innovative optical solutions result in many challenges for design, fabrication and characterization. To improve quality control processes, Tamara Aderneuer looks into ways of characterizing surface shapes, to create virtual 3D, and analyze them with optical simulations.


Lena Siewert, Postdoc, Biomedicine

Bartonella is a bacterial pathogen infecting different mammals including humans. Lena Siewert shows us how the immune system, in particular so called neutralizing antibodies, can fight this infection.


Maria Douneva, Postdoc, Psychology

Folk wisdom says that when you can't decide between two options, you should flip a coin and you’ll then realize what you really want. Maria Douneva shows to which extent this folk wisdom holds true by presenting psychological studies that examine what coin flips can and can’t do in the context of decision making.


Andrea Martani, PhD Candidate, Biomedical Ethics

In our increasingly digitalised healthcare, several patients’ data are collected and processed to provide better care and to conduct biomedical research. But what are the “rules of the game”? Andrea Martani discusses some important legal and ethical aspects of the use of health data in Switzerland.


Martynas Jablonskis, PhD Candidate, Law

Collusion in oligopolies is the central problem in cartel laws. Cartels cause serious harm to consumers by increased prices, reduced choice, and foreclosed competition. Despite extensive legal scholarship, collusion remains notoriously difficult to find, prove, and punish. Martynas Jablonskis addresses how the interdisciplinary – game theory – approach can shed new light on potential legal solutions.


Rodrigo Antunes, Postdoc, Physics

Ammonia has been essential to provide sufficient food to sustain the growth of our planet. At a great cost however: the production of ammonia worldwide amounts to roughly 2% of the global CO2 emissions. Rodrigo Antunes shows us how the combination of plasmas and special surfaces opens up ways of making ammonia more sustainably.


Reto Odermatt, Postdoc, Economics

Reto Odermatt shows that people tend to make systematic mistakes when they predict their subjective well-being around major life changes. This finding runs contrary to the central assumption of economic theory that people can predict what will benefit them. This presentation provides insights from behavioral economics and the economics of well-being, two exciting new fields within economics.


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