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Early Career Research Awards 2020

We are delighted to announce Experimental Results' prize winners for the 2020 Early Career Researcher Award (for papers published in the journal in 2020). Decisions on the winning papers were made by the Chief Editors. 


Victoria Aladin

Victoria Aladin studied chemistry at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2017 she started her PhD in the Emmy Noether group of Björn Corzilius which relocated to the University of Rostock, Germany in 2019. Her research in the field of magnetic resonance contributed significantly to the new method of SCREAM-DNP. For her research focusing on applications of cross-relaxation in dynamic nuclear polarization, Victoria was honored with the Elsevier talk award at the SSNMR Symposium of the Rocky Mountain Conference on Magnetic Resonance in 2018 and the Richard Ernst Award of the German Chemical Society in 2019. She recently submitted her thesis and is about to defend her PhD in summer 2021.

Read her paper "Heteronuclear Cross-Relaxation under Dynamic Nuclear Polarization in Nicotine and Caffeine"

Computer Science

Daniele Berardini

Daniele Berardini is a computer scientist and since October 2019 he has been part of the Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (VRAI) research group, hosted at the Department of Information Engineering (DII) at Marche Polytechnic University (Ancona, Italy). Daniele is now a PhD student at the Department of Information Engineering at Marche Polytechnic University under the supervision of Prof. Emanuele Frontoni. Daniele’s research deals with the development of monitoring systems based on Machine and Deep Learning methods for real-time Human Behaviour Analysis from video in Indoor and Outdoor environments.

Read his paper "Fall detection for elderly-people monitoring using learned features and recurrent neural networks"

Earth & Environmental Science


Man-Yin Tsang is a geoscientist who uses stable isotopes to understand subseafloor processes. Her research focuses on the interactions between microorganisms and the geological environment and the development we can make to improve research methods. Currently, Man-Yin is a JSPS International Fellow at Kobe University. She dedicates the award to Dr. Kevin Tse (University of Hong Kong), a co-author of the awarded paper and a good friend and mentor, who passed away shortly after the paper was accepted.

Read her paper "Oxidized silver cups can skew oxygen isotope results of small samples"


Dr. Luis A. Villegas-Armenta

Dr. Luis A. Villegas-Armenta is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Light Metals laboratory of McGill University, within the Faculty of Engineering. His current work is focused on the use of machine learning to accelerate the development of novel alloys. This combination of traditional alloy design and machine learning methods resulted in the foundation of the Startup Alpha Iota Alloys. Luis obtained his Ph.D. degree at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Mihriban Pekguleryuz, working on the development of ignition-resistant Mg alloys for commercial aircraft. At the same time, he has collaborated with industrial partners, institutions, and universities worldwide developing alloys for a wide range of applications: from aerospace solid-state welding to biodegradable stents for bone implants.

Read his paper "XPS and Electron Microscopy Study of Oxide-Scale Evolution on Ignition Resistant Mg-3Ca Alloy at Low and High Heating Rates"

Life Science & Biomedicine

Thias Mello

Thaís Pereira de Mello is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of General Microbiology from Microbiology Institute of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ), a place in which developed all her scientific career (bachelor of Microbiology-Immunology (December, 2014) as well as Masters (July, 2016) and PhD (June, 2020) in Microbiology). Thaís has focused on the study of biofilms formed by pathogenic microorganisms, including their distinct formation steps on either inert or live surfaces, biological functions to microbial social life and development of resistance mechanisms against environmental stressors like antibiotic drugs. During her PhD, Thaís studied the biofilms formed by the multidrug-resistant, opportunistic and human fungal pathogens belonging to the Scedosporium and Lomentospora genera, exploring the chemical composition of the biofilm extracellular matrix as well as the resistance mechanisms to classical antifungals, including azoles (fluconazole and voriconazole) and polyene (amphotericin B). Along her scientific journey, Thaís published 23 papers in indexed journals with international circulation. Currently, Thaís is working to understand the relevance of multispecies biofilm formed by Scedosporium/Lomentospora spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a cystic fibrosis context.

Read her paper "Saccharide sources do not influence the biofilm formation in Scedosporium/Lomentospora species"

Mathematics, Statistics & Probability


Xiayimei Han (Hancya) is a Mathematician who is pursuing her graduate career this fall. Hancya's paper Hodge Representation was the result of her curiosity about Maths. Her paper was written in collaboration with her mentor Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Colleen M Robles at The Duke University Mathematics department. Hancya is hopeful that readers will find her paper helpful and enlightening and is happy to be contacted to discuss the pertinent matter with interested readers.

Read her paper "Fall Hodge Representations"

Physics & Astronomy 

Guglielmo Faggioli

Guglielmo Faggioli has always been fascinated by the study of the Universe along with fundamental Physics and Mathematics: these passions motivated his studies in Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, where all these fields intersect. In 2016 he received his Physics BSc diploma from the Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin, Italy, with a thesis in particle identification in ALICE experiment data simulations. In 2017 he won an Erasmus Traineeship scholarship and he worked in the gamma rays astronomy research group of the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, studying pulsar wind nebulae gamma emissions. In 2019 he received his MSc degree in Physics from the Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin, Italy, specializing in Theoretical Physics; his thesis work focuses on new analysis methods for the forthcoming large scale structures of the Universe data. In particular he studied the possibility to apply them to the analysis of the angular power spectrum of spectroscopic galaxies surveys. In 2020 he received a II level University Master degree in Mathematical and Physical Methods for Space Sciences from the Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin, Italy. At the moment he is employed at AIKO: Autonomous Space Missions as a Deep Learning Research Scientist. During last years his interests have mainly focused on the study of cosmological large scale structures and their connection with primordial Universe, aiming to test fundamental Physics through cosmological probes. In the future, he aims to pursue these research studies on the border of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, trying to contribute to our understanding of the Universe. During his spare time Guglielmo enjoys performing arts, training as a theater actor.

Read his co-authored paper "Towards simulating a realistic data analysis with an optimised angular power spectrum of spectroscopic galaxy surveys"

Konstantinos Tanidis

Konstantinos Tanidis is a post-doc researcher in Observational Cosmology. His research concerns the extraction of the cosmological information encoded in the Large Scale Structure of the Universe, focusing on the distribution of galaxies measured by current and forthcoming galaxy surveys. Konstantions is interested in harmonic space power spectra tomography and in particular, the cross-correlations of galaxy maps with dark matter candidates, the multi-tracer technique, Bayesian methods and implementations of novel approaches to learn about the fundamental physics of the Universe Konstantions tests extensions of the concordance cosmological model and investigate parameter tensions with external datasets. Currently, he is an active member of the Square Kilometre Array and the Euclid Consortium.

Read his co-authored paper "Towards simulating a realistic data analysis with an optimised angular power spectrum of spectroscopic galaxy surveys"

Psychology and Psychiatry 

Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor is a PhD Researcher in Psychology at the University of Bath. Following a year working at the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre looking sensory sensitivities in autistic women, her research is now focused on understanding intact psychological processes and strengths in neurodevelopmental conditions. Despite it being early in her research career, Emily has successfully published her work in several leading journals, including PNAS and Experimental Results, and secured grants to support public engagement with neurodivergent populations, which is central to her research.

Read her co-authored paper "Psychometric concerns with the 10-item Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ10) as a measure of trait autism in the general population"

Punit Shah

Dr Punit Shah is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Psychology at the University of Bath. Following recent completion of a PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, he has quickly established a research group at the University of Bath. They study socially relevant psychological signals, from basic perception (e.g., of faces) to higher-order cognition (e.g., mentalising), and are particularly interested in how these processes differ between neurotypical and neurodivergent people (e.g., autistic people). Dr Shah’s work has been published in leading Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience journals (e.g., Lancet Psychiatry, PNAS), and is Associate Editor at leading journals in these fields (e.g., Cortex and Experimental Results), where he hopes to bring his broad ranging expertise on psychology and neurodevelopmental/mental health conditions.

Read his co-authored paper "Psychometric concerns with the 10-item Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ10) as a measure of trait autism in the general population"