25 September 2018

2018 PhD Awards given out at SCIENCE

PhD Awards

PhD dissertations addressing the effects of climate change on river delta and coastal environments in Greenland, the chemical composition of plants and algorithms have received this year's PhD Awards at the Faculty of Science, SCIENCE.

The Faculty of Science has given out PhD Awards since 2014 to honor three exceptional and enriching PhD projects submitted over the previous year. In addition to the diploma and honor in and of itself, winners receive 25,000 kroner.

The objective of the award is:

  1. To honour new SCIENCE graduates
  2. To demonstrate the high quality of the faculty’s PhD programmes
  3. To highlight great researcher/academic initiatives at SCIENCE every year

The three recipients of the 2018 SCIENCE PhD Award 2018 are:

PhD Mette Bendixen: Shining a light on Greenlandic river deltas
Mette Bendixen, of the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, IGN, has received a 2018 SCIENCE PhD Award 2018 for her outstanding dissertation, "Delta Dynamics – Evolution of Sedimentary Coast in Greenland in a Changing Climate". Mette Bendixen’s dissertation on Greenlandic river delta dynamics is the first study to calculate the effects of climate change on river delta and coastal environments in Greenland. 

The Assessment Committee statement highlighted that, "Mette Bendixen is an open and committed young researcher who has demonstrated outstanding skills by, among other things, using and combining information through remote monitoring and large databases.” Mette Bendixen’s focus on the Greenlandic coastal system draws attention to the recent growth of Greenlandic deltas — the most striking result of her dissertation. Her research will change the perspective of high-arctic coastlines associated with ice caps, which as a whole, constitute a substantial amount of total Arctic coastline. Deltas are broad areas of sedimentary deposits in coastal zones created where rivers empty into oceans.

PhD Madeleine Ernst: Chemical compositions of plants explored
Madeleine Ernst, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, SNM, received a 2018 SCIENCE PhD Award for her dissertation, "An evolutionary perspective on drug discovery in the plant-genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae)". She received the award for groundbreaking results in promising new methods that can predict chemical diversity in plants.

The Assessment Committee wrote that Madeleine Ernst was given the award for her eclectic, complementary range of research methods, including text-mining, molecular phylogeny and metabolomics. The committee’s statement noted her extraordinary ability to use various techniques to examine research questions. This versatility, as well as a broad overview of the numerous, varied methods that can be used to deploy knowledge towards a specific objective is truly unique among doctoral candidates. Madeleine's PhD dissertation includes five main articles. She is the main author of three, four have been published and one is currently under review.

PhD Mathias Bæk Tejs Knudsen: Hardcore computer science
Mathias Bæk Tejs Knudsen, of the Department of Computer Science, DIKU, received a 2018 SCIENCE PhD Award for his dissertation, "New Results on Hashing, Labeling Schemes and Algorithms". He received the award for his tremendous commitment and brilliant results achieved over the course of his PhD, during which time he has demonstrated exceptional motivation, creativity and independence. Over the course of his doctoral programme, Mathias published 14 peer reviewed articles, and is the sole author of three. The Assessment Committee emphasized the extraordinarily high quality of many of his works. Mathias’ dissertation mainly deals with labeling schemes and graph algorithms, both of which belong to the field of box algorithms and hash functions. Over the course of his doctoral studies, Mathias also published five articles for the prestigious STOC and FOCS conferences. The articles were of such a high caliber, that they were considered to be among the 150 best within his field worldwide.