Field of Computer science
Dr Marek Adamczyk is an assistant professor in the Department of Combinatorial Optimization at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science.
He graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Wrocław. His master’s thesis entitled „Analysis of a greedy algorithm for the problem of stochastic associations” won him the first prize in the XLIV competition of the Wrocław branch of the Polish Mathematical Society for the best student thesis on the theory of probability and applications of mathematics. This was the beginning of his scientific work on problems from the borderline of algorithmics and probability calculus. He defended his PhD in this field at the University of Rome „La Sapienza”. Subsequently, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the Entrepreneurial University of Munich, the University of Bremen, and the University of Warsaw. Since 2020, he has been working at the University of Wroclaw, where he pursues a SONATA grant entitled Combinatorial optimization under uncertainty: matroids, associations and submodular functions.
His main area of research is, in short, algorithms that try to predict the future. These algorithms are inspired by problems from a wide variety of fields like algorithmic game theory, online optimization, computational microeconomics, stochastic optimization and machine learning.
And although these algorithms are mostly framed in the context of perhaps hermetic-sounding buzzwords like ,,combinatorial optimization”, „matroids” or „submodular functions”, they solve very concrete problems. Recently, for example, he and his students have been thinking about how companies like Bolt or Uber should price their rides in order to guarantee the greatest profit under the condition of the greatest user satisfaction.
Field of Earth and environment science
Dr Filip Duszyński is an assistant professor at the Institute of Geography and Regional Development.
He obtained his doctorate in 2018, defending with honours his work entitled “Evolution of the morphological thresholds of the Stołowe Mountains in the light of geomorphological and geophysical research.” For his dissertation, he received the Stefan Kozarski Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of geomorphology in 2018, awarded by the Association of Polish Geomorphologists, and the Eugeniusz Romer Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of physical geography in 2018 in the competition of the Committee of Geographical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences. A scholarship holder of the ETIUDA program of the National Science Centre, as part of which he completed a six-month scientific internship at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Winner of the START scholarship of the Foundation for Polish Science in 2019. From 2020, a member of the Academy of Young Scholars and Artists in Wrocław, its chairman since last year. Author and co-author of over 30 scientific papers, some of which have been published in such excellent journals as Earth-Science Reviews, Geomorphology or Catena. Avid popularizer of Earth sciences, he is a lover of the history of geography and geology.
Dr Filip Duszyński studies the mechanisms of the development of sandstone plate relief areas – i.e. those built of almost horizontally lying rock layers, with sandstone constituting an adjacent, resistant cap. He began his work in this area with the start of his doctoral studies. For the first years, he focused on defining the carving processes responsible for the gradual reduction of the range of sandstone capitals in the Polish part of the Stołowe Mountains. On the basis of the results obtained, he proposed an innovative concept of the non-catastrophic disintegration of the near-edge parts of the plateaus. It assumes the key role of the subsurface removal of rock breakdown by-products beyond the sandstone plate, which in the long term leads to the disintegration of rock walls and the development of the so-called ruin sculpture. In recent years, research on this type of phenomena has covered areas with a similar geological structure in the Czech Republic, Germany and England. In this area, the latest research project entitled Q-MESA | Mechanisms of the Evolution of Sandstone Areas, Central and Western Europe is being pursued. In the following years, together with his research team, he will try to determine whether the studied areas develop with the participation of karst processes, and when and under what environmental conditions their destruction was most effective.
Field of History
Dr Michał Halamus is an assistant at the Institute of History at the Faculty of Historical and Pedagogical Sciences.
He is an antiquity historian and epigraphist. He wrote his doctoral dissertation entitled „The Bosporan Kingdom and Rome” and defended it in 2020 as part of the FNP’s „International Doctoral Projects” program, while studying at universities in Liverpool, St. Petersburg and Wrocław. In recent years, he has completed a number of internships and study visits to Berlin, Oxford, Athens, Moscow and Munich. The latter in the Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik as part of the acquired Gerda-Henkel, Elise und Annemarie-Jacobi-Stiftung. Since 2020, he has been managing his own project, NCN Preludium „Shaping the political situation in the Bosporan Kingdom: Greek and non-Greek elites in the light of quantitative and qualitative research”. One of his recent publications is the chapter „The Epigraphic curve in the Northern Black Sea region: a case study from Chersonesos and the Bosporan Kingdom” (Routledge, 2021).
Dr Michał Halamus’ research interests are focused on the history of ancient Greek cities and the Bosporan Kingdom located on the northern shores of the Black Sea. Located in the eastern part of Crimea and on the Taman Peninsula, the kingdom was an ethnically and culturally diverse country. The Greeks, the local tribes, the nomadic peoples of the Iranian language group, the ruling dynasty boasting its Achaemenid origins, and finally the Romans – all of these groups functioned together for hundreds of years, creating a lot of ways distinct Bosporan culture. Currently, dr Halamus’ research focuses on inscriptions and coins from the Black Sea region, the fruit of which will be articles and a monograph devoted to such issues as: the charity of the Greek elite (euergeticism), the chronology of the rulers of the Bosporus and the functioning of the kingdom within the Roman imperial system in relation to the „long duration” and „center-periphery” theories.
The Field of Chemical Science
Dr Karolina Hurej is an assistant professor at the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry.
She completed a research internship at the Institut de Science et d’ingénierie Supramoléculaires in Strasbourg. She is a co-author of 10 scientific publications, including a prized cover publication in Nature Catalysis (from research conducted during the internship). She was awarded the START Scholarship (2018) of the Foundation for Polish Science and the Minister’s Scholarship for Young, Outstanding Scientists (2019). Since 2020, she has been coordinating weekly Faculty Seminars in the Faculty of Chemistry, in which scientists from around the world deliver lectures online for the Faculty’s community.
After returning from the internship, she started working on a new topic that combines the experience gained during her doctoral studies (coordination chemistry and porphyrinoid reactivity) with the knowledge in the field of catalysis, acquired during the research internship, and it was for this research that she received funding under the SONATA grant (NCN) .
Her main area of interest is the development of a methodology for the selective and direct functionalization of C − H bonds in simple organic compounds such as alkanes. Due to the ubiquity of the alkane motif in natural products and many common synthetic blocks, it would be very useful to directly functionalise molecules containing many similar C − H bonds, which is currently one of the major challenges catalysis. This could allow the easy modification of many existing drugs or other biologically active compounds as well as the creation of new active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Field of Physical Science
Dr Karolina Idczak is an assistant professor at the Institute of Experimental Physics at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy.
Her research work concerns research in the field of solid state physics, and more specifically the physicochemical properties of subsurface layers of various materials. She conducts both her own research and collaborates with other research groups. She is the author and co-author of 15 scientific publications. She takes part in international conferences. As part of her teaching duties, for five years she was the tutor of the 1st Physical Laboratory and actively participated in the Physical Fair organized by WFA as part of the Lower Silesian Science Festival.
Dr Karolina Idczak about her research: “Graphene is one of the most promising application materials discovered in recent years. The unique properties of this material, such as high mobility of electric charge carriers and high chemical and mechanical resistance, cause great interest in using graphene to build precise electronic devices. An important element of the research is to characterise various graphene growth techniques and their potential application.
One of the known techniques for obtaining graphene is the process of annealing silicon carbide (SiC) crystals at the temperature of desorption of silicon atoms. Silicon carbide is a semiconductor characterized by a wide band gap, a high breakdown field, resistance to high temperatures and the radioactive field. The combination of the two materials into a single system is highly advantageous from a potential application point of view. Another important issue in the topic of increasing the functionality of graphene is the use of the intercalation process in which atoms are placed between graphene layers. In the case of interaction on graphitized SiC crystals, it is possible to separate successive graphene layers, and thus to form new structures with unique properties. ”
The aim of the scientific work of Dr Idczak is the production and determination of the properties of graphene / metal / SiC systems formed by intercalation of selected elements into graphene layers on the surface of the 4H-SiC crystal (0001). The research concerns both the production of graphene, the adsorption of metals, and the determination of optimal parameters for the intercalation process. The obtained results regarding the chemical composition, atomic concentration and formed structures, as well as the resistance of the obtained systems to high temperature, allowed to distinguish stable structures for which intercalation is an irreversible process, and those that are destroyed when exposed to high temperature.
Field of Biomedical Engineering
Dr Anna Kocyła is an assistant professor at the Department of Biological Chemistry of the Faculty of Biotechnology.
Doctor of exact and natural sciences in the field of biological sciences. She defended her doctoral dissertation with honours entitled “Charakterystyka oddziaływania międzybiałkowego kompleksu koreceptora CD4 z kinazą tyrozynową Lck zależnego od jonów Zn2+” („Characterization of the Zn2 + -dependent interaction of the interprotein complex of the CD4 coreceptor with the Lck tyrosine kinase”). Her research interests include mainly zinc ion homeostasis, the cellular role of zinc proteins and the possibility of using chemical methods to observe biological phenomena. The author of research papers that were cited over a hundred times in journals from the Philadelphia list and participant of many international scientific conferences. Winner of „The Metallomics Young Investigator’s Award 2019”. The manager of the Preludium grant financed by the National Science Center and a scholarship holder of the Etiuda program, under which she obtained the opportunity to go abroad to the Institute of Immunology of the Clinical University in Aachen.
Doctor Kocyła has carried out multidisciplinary research projects requiring knowledge of analytical, organic and bioinorganic chemistry, as well as molecular biology and immunology. She gained knowledge while working in research groups in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The experience gained, made Dr. Kocyła one of the few experts in protein-protein interactions involving Zn2 + ions.
The Field of Biological Sciences
Dr Krzysztof Kolenda is an assistant professor at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Vertebrate Protection at the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
Professionally, he is mainly interested in herpetofauna, i.e. amphibians and reptiles, and his current projects in this area are related to, among others, the occurrences of amphibians in urban areas, with amphibian diseases in Poland, and with alien species in Polish herpetofauna. As part of a grant from the National Science Center, Preludium, he is also researching the stability of genetic systems of green frogs. Apart from amphibians and reptiles, he is interested in the problem of littering the environment. First of all, it focuses on the impact of bottles and soda cans massively deposited in forests on small animals, which treat them as a potential shelter or food source but entering such a container more often than not results in their death.
The Field of Mathematics
Dr Tomasz Rzepecki is an assistant professor at the Department of Algebra and Number Theory at the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Wrocław.
Scholarship holder of the Etiuda program of the National Science Centre and Lady Davis at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He has publications in very good logic journals such as the Journal of Mathematical Logic and the Journal of Symbolic Logic.
Scientifically, he deals with the model theory, a branch of mathematical logic, and its relations with dynamics, topology, descriptive set theory and combinatorics. It examines the „definable” properties of very large mathematical structures and the classical mathematical objects related to them, in particular those arising from structure-retaining transformations, as well as countable structures formed as so-called Fraisse limits of finite structures or finite generators (such as graphs, trees, finite bodies, linear spaces), as well as „dynamic” properties of these (related to the activities of groups of automorphisms or other, natural in this context, group and semi-group activities).
The Field of Medical Science
Dr Marcin Szafran is an assistant professor at the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the Faculty of Biotechnology.
“Bacteria are an extremely diverse group of microorganisms in terms of genetics, among which species belonging to the genus Streptomyces are one of the most morphologically complex, resembling simple filamentous fungi in their cell structure. Due to many atypical features, these naturally occurring bacteria in the soil, such as the linear organization of the chromosome, the complex life cycle involving the formation of spores, and the complex system of cellular processes, constitute an extremely interesting research model. In addition, as producers of a number of metabolites used by humans as antibiotics, immunosuppressants, antineoplastic and antifungal drugs, the genus Streptomyces shows great potential, not only solely cognitive, but also in application.
The production of secondary metabolites in Streptomyces is strongly related to the transition point between typical vegetative growth and spore production (sporulation). However, the mechanisms governing the expression of secondary metabolism genes and correlating their production with sporulation growth are still poorly understood.
In the Department of Molecular Microbiology, scientists have shown that the transition point between vegetative and sporulative growth in Streptomyces is associated with enormous changes in the organization of the chromosome, on a scale not yet described in other bacterial species. Interestingly, the location of genes involved in the production of secondary metabolites in specific, highly structured regions of the Streptomyces chromosome, indicates that the very spatial structure of the chromosome may constitute an important regulatory element controlling the switching on or off of specific groups of genes in the cell. ”
The work of dr Marcin Szafran focuses primarily on explaining the molecular mechanisms related to the regulation of the Streptomyces chromosome organization and the connection of these changes with the functioning of the cell, control of gene expression and the production of secondary metabolites with application potential.
Field of Literary Studies
Dr Mateusz Świetlicki is an assistant professor at the Department of American Literature and Culture of the Institute of English Studies at the University of Wrocław and a co-founder and member of the program board of the Centre for Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
He is a laureate of many prestigious scholarships, including the Fulbright Commission, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Harvard University and the Kiev National University of Taras Shevchenko and the Internationale Jugendbibliothek. Dr Świetlicki is the author of over sixty scientific papers, including monographs and numerous articles in the Polish and international scientific press. He presented his research at nearly seventy conferences (in the USA, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Spain, Ukraine). He is deputy editor-in-chief of the Filoteknos magazine and is a member of the editorial team of John Benjamins Publishing’s „Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition” series. His research interests include literature for children and teenagers and widely understood popular culture and film. Dr Świetlicki is a representative of Childhood & Youth Network of the international organization Social Science History Association and a member of many other organizations, incl. Memory Studies Association and International Research Society for Children’s Literature. In 2021, he was a juror in the IBBY Polish Section Book of the Year competition. He is currently working on a habilitation book devoted to the memory of the next generation in contemporary Ukrainian-Canadian historical prose for children (1991-2021), in which he shows that by telling repressed, untold stories and paying attention to the memory of the next generation of Central and Eastern European heritage built on traumatic experiences, authors of Canadian children’s literature try not only to work through diasporic traumas but also potentially to inscribe them into the landscape of North American collective and cultural memory.
Translated by Rafał Karwacki (student of English Studies at the University of Wrocław) as part of the translation practice.