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Abstracts 2019

Prof. dr. Jan De Beenhouwer


Tomography from limited data

Professor Jan De Beenhouwer and his team are specialised in tomography, a technique that allows you to look inside objects without actually opening them. In many circumstances however, the measured data is not sufficient to accurately reconstruct a 3D image of the object. To solve these types of problems, they are developing techniques that exploit prior knowledge of the object and the imaging system in the form of parametric models. Read more about their research on the website of research group Visionlab.


Prof. dr. Jeroen Famaey


Low-Power Wireless Networks

Professor Jeroen Famaey and his team design low-power wireless network protocols, to allow communication over the Internet with anything, at any time, and anywhere. By creating such energy-efficient network protocols, devices can last longer on a single battery charge, or even live without batteries by harvesting small amounts of energy from the environment. This will enable a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective Internet of Things. More information can be found on the IDLab research group website.


Prof. dr. Guillermo A. Perez


Automatic Verification of Hardware and Software Systems

Hardware and software systems are hard to design and implement correctly. Professor Guillermo Perez studies formal logics that can be used to precisely specify what such systems are intended to do, and formal models like automata and games to abstract their behaviour. With his co-authors, they use these mathematical tools to develop algorithms that enable the verification of systems against their specifications.


Prof. dr. Hannes Svardal


What genome sequences can tell us about evolution

Professor Hannes Svardal and his group are interested in how the astonishing natural diversity we see on earth came into being, by which forces it formed, and how it is changing today. Genome sequences provide a record of the evolutionary past of organisms and of their adaptations. The Svardal lab uses statistical genomics and experiments to understand how organisms adapt to their environment. For example, they are currently trying to understand how fishes rapidly adapt to fishing pressure.


Dr. Wiebke Albrecht


Heat-induced transformations of nanoparticles studied in situ in 3D using electron tomography

Nanoparticles are in a regime between the atomic and macroscopic scale and exhibit peculiar properties in between both worlds. A full 3D morphological and compositional characterization of nanoparticles is a necessity of understanding their properties-structure relationship. A powerful way of studying processes at the nanoscale are in situ measurements allowing, for example, to follow heat-induced morphological and compositional changes in time. In this talk, we present how such transformations of metal nanoparticles can be followed in 3D using electron tomography. 


Dr. Wenke Smets


Colonization of bacterial leaf communities

The surface of plant leaves, also termed the phyllosphere, is a unique habitat for microbes. The bacterial communities of the phyllosphere are distinct from communities in other habitats, yet they show a great diversity. Despite previous claims about the phyllosphere communities being excellent models to study microbial ecology, time experiments to assess natural phyllosphere dynamics through e.g. sequencing are lacking. We investigated the effect of an urban environment and air pollution on the dynamics of phyllosphere communities. To do so, we addressed both colonization of new leaves in spring and the dynamics of established communities when their host plants were moved into different polluted environments.


Dr. Sara Vicca


The climate change buffer on land

Climate change poses a major threat to humanity and urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Luckily, we have forests and other land ecosystems on our side to help us in this formidable task, at least for now. In this talk, I will present how land ecosystems have been acting as a buffer against climate change, how this is expected to evolve in future, and how we may use nature to safeguard us from dangerous climate change.


Ana Castanheiro



The PMF project: towards biomagnetic monitoring for source attribution of urban PM and associated early-health effects

Biomagnetic monitoring has shown to be a promising approach to capture spatio-temporal variation of particulate air pollution, yet lacking information on source-dependent magnetizable composition and health-relevancy of atmospheric particles impedes its general application in air quality assessments. This ongoing PMF project addresses this knowledge gap by evaluating atmospheric PM originating from different sources (road and railway traffic, shipping, industry) for its chemical composition, association with related pollutants, magnetic properties and early health response of human lung cells, combining a range of sampling and analytical techniques. This research hereby contributes to source “fingerprinting” and its potential for source attribution in urban areas, and to assess the health-relevancy of biomagnetic monitoring.


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