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Five Veni awards for Leiden Science researchers

Five promising researchers at Leiden's Faculty of Science have received a Veni award from NWO. They can use the award - of up to 250,000 euros - to carry out research over a three-year period. Of the total of seventeen Leiden Venis, four went to Leiden Observatory and one to Institute for Biology Leiden.

The formation of galaxies in clusters

Yannick Bahé – Leiden Observatory
Galaxies living in galaxy clusters - the densest, most extreme environment of our Universe - are observed to differ strikingly from isolated galaxies. The proposed research project will use state-of-the-art computer simulations to understand the origin of these differences, filling a major gap in our understanding of galaxy formation. 

Cosmic remodeling: how galaxies changed the structure of the Universe

Marcel van Daalen – Leiden Observatory
The structure of our universe is tightly connected to the distribution of both dark and visible matter. However, the violent processes associated with galaxy formation make significant changes to this distribution. By better understanding how they do so, astronomers can learn more about our universe as a whole.

How hot is ice-cold chemistry?

Thanja Lamberts – Leiden Observatory
At the low temperatures in space (-260 ºC), the molecular building blocks of life can only be formed through chemical reactions that produce lots of heat. In this project, computer simulations are used to study how this heat is transferred to the ice-covered dust grains on which the reactions occur.

Evaluating the effect of baryons on cosmological probes with next-generation simulations

Matthieu Schaller – Leiden Observatory
We will finish the development of a novel simulation code that exploits modern computer architecture and use it to perform large simulations of the Universe and the formation of galaxies. We will use these to interpret observations aiming to shed light on the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Foraging in a noisy world: Marine predator-prey interactions under fluctuating sound conditions

Fleur Visser - Institute for Biology Leiden
Noisy human activities may disturb foraging whales, top predators of the ocean. I will combine experimental sound exposure with advanced sensor technologies to investigate how noise affects whales, their prey and whale-prey interactions. Such knowledge is crucial for effective protection of whales and the marine environment at large.