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Geophysicist receives Villum International Postdoc grant

Postdoc Line Meldgaard Madsen from the Department of Geoscience has received more than DKK 2.3 million for her research project. The grant is from the Villum Foundation and it is part of the Villum International Postdoc programme, which is designed to ensure increased diversity in Danish research.

[Translate to English:] Postdoc Line Meldgaard Madsen (Foto: VILLUM)
[Translate to English:] Postdoc Line Meldgaard Madsen (Foto: VILLUM)

Only about one in seven professors within natural and technical sciences is a woman. The further forward you look in a typical academic career, the fewer women you will see. This means that we are missing out on much female research talent.

With this backdrop, the Villum Foundation has launched the Villum International Postdoc programme to support research conducted by ambitious and outstanding female researchers within technical and natural sciences at the time in their careers following their PhD, when the high drop-out rate starts for women from academic career positions at universities.

This year, six female researchers have received a total of DKK 14 million. At Aarhus University, geophysicist Line Meldgaard Madsen has received DKK 2.3 million for her project called “Fusion of Hydrology and Geophysics for a description of surface and groundwater dynamics in a changing climate" to develop a better understanding of the effects of climate change on water systems with focus on surface and groundwater dynamics.

Line Meldgaard Madsen plans to travel to the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Science at the University of Arizona in the US. There are experts here in integrating geophysics data into hydrological models and then using these to examine how surface and groundwater systems are affected by periods of heavy rainfall or drought.

"A grant like this is great recognition, and I'm very honoured and grateful. Climate change challenges our water resources, and we’re increasingly experiencing extreme weather phenomena such as drought and heavy rainfall. Therefore, we need a better understanding of the interplay between surface water and groundwater, if we are to ensure a sustainable future. The grant will enable me to combine various branches of research, and to contribute to creating new and more accurate hydrogeological models," says Line Meldgaard Madsen.

The grant recipients have all been selected by universities as special talents and then academically assessed by the Vellum Foundation's committee for technical and natural science research, which has nominated them for grant from the foundation's board.