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Category: Science

Hi, welcome to Science on Trial [and Error] - a podcast from a scientist to scientists.
I’m Kasia Kuzmicz-Kowalska and I’m pursuing a PhD in Developmental Biology at IST Austria.
The idea for this podcast was born out of my love for science and curiosity of people’s stories. Join me as I chat with researchers from different fields and at different levels of their careers. We will discuss their current work, but also their scientific path. Why have they started to love science? Where are they going next? I will look for some funny stories and for what is cool about science these days. And let’s be honest, it’s not all science and no play - outside-of-work activities and passions are definitely going to be covered.
Allow yourself to be inspired and enjoy the company of my amazing guests.

Music and sound: Lukasz Kowalski; Art: Laura Burnett

September 14, 2021

Case Study: Starting a PhD in times of pandemic

Episode 010: Case Study: Starting a PhD in times of pandemic.

In this special episode my guests are Christine Fiedler, Ishita Gupta, Rebecca June Morse Mora and Valentin Hübner. They all started their PhD studies at IST Austria in September 2020, but their experiences differ in many ways. We discuss how they dealt with application process, working during lockdowns and having courses online. They acknowledge the challenges and struggles of the last year, but we also recognize achievements and successes. We try to figure out what could be improved for the new students who will start their PhDs this year.

August 31, 2021

Episode 009 - Mojtaba Tavakoli

Episode 009: Mojtaba Tavakoli is a biologist and a PhD student in the group of Prof. Johann Danzl at IST Austria. His research is focused on developing methods to study biological samples with more precision using expansion microscopy.

We discuss the power of collaborative science and how we all go through difficult times during our PhDs. Mojtaba shares his positive and negative experiences as a refugee in Austria. We agree that scientists could use more training in scientific communication.


Find Mojtaba on Twitter: @RTMojtaba

IGASUS organization website: igasus.org


Please consider supporting the organizations providing humanitarian aid for people in Afghanistan.

The UN Refugee Agency

Doctors Without Borders

August 9, 2021

Episode 008 - Rose Waugh

Episode 008: Rose Waugh is a PhD student in Astrophysics in the group of Prof. Moira Jardine at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her research is focused on the formation of prominences in the magnetic fields of low mass stars.

We talk about stellar clouds and winds, communicating science with cartoons and the joys of teaching. Rose shares how she juggles work and personal life being a mum to a toddler. We discuss the inaccessibility of academia and physics still remaining a Boys' Club. Rose reveals that she would love to have coffee with Jim Al-Khalili to thank him for inspiring her career in science.

Enjoy listening!


Check out Rose's Instagram @astrophysicist_rose and find her on Twitter: @astrophys_rose

July 4, 2021

Episode 007 - Mariia Zhuldybina

Episode 007: Mariia Zhuldybina (PhD) is a physicist and an entrepreneur from Russia, currently living in Canada. She completed her PhD in the group of Prof. François Blanchard at École de Technologie Supérieure in Montréal. Mariia is also a CEO and co-founder of a start-up company TRAQC which provides a new method for quality control of printed electronics using terahertz radiation.

We discuss the challenges of creating a new business and transferring technology from the lab to the industry. Mariia opens up about her love of teaching and her hopes of becoming a group leader in the future. We both share how we dealt with the unavoidable rejections. We also cover the beautiful art of sewing and living abroad without knowing the language. Enjoy listening!


Find out more about Mariia's company TRAQC

June 20, 2021

Episode 006 - Nicole Amberg

Episode 006: Nicole Amberg (PhD) is a neuroscientist and a postdoc in the group of Prof. Simon Hippenmeyer at IST Austria. She is investigating the role of epigenetics regulation in neural stem cells lineage progression in the developing cortex.

We discuss which activities are important when you pursue a leadership position in academia. Nicole talks about her altruistic drive and how her initiatives aim to create a better place for others. She also reveals her reasons for not becoming a vet and for continuing her career in Vienna. We also cover mentorship, challenges of becoming accepted as knowledgeable scientist when switching fields and gender stereotypes within the society's mindset. Enjoy!


Find Nicole and her initiatives on Twitter: @amberg_nicole @STEM_fatale_ @wissenschaffts

May 31, 2021

Episode 005 - Mateusz Sikora

Episode 005: Mateusz Sikora (PhD) is a postdoc affiliated with Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt (Germany) and University of Vienna (Austria). In his current research Matt is using computational simulations to tackle the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus. We discuss how SARS-CoV-2 is playing hide-and-seek in our body and how we can use predictions to outsmart the virus. Matt shares how he went from being interested in dialects to studying biophysics (switching back and forth between theoretical and experimental work). We also talk about the collaborative science in times of pandemic and the 'tripod model' of work-life balance. Matt also reveals what an ideal model organism would be... Have fun listening!


Find Mateusz on Twitter: @BioPhysMatt

May 16, 2021

Episode 004 - Laura Burnett

Episode 004: Laura Burnett is a PhD student in the group of Prof. Maximilian Joesch at IST Austria. She's investigating how visual information is processed in the brain to control instinctive behaviors. Laura is also an amazing artist and she contributes her creative skills to science communication projects. We chat about the 'slightly overlooked' superior colliculus, popular science books and the imposter syndrome. Laura reveals how she intended to become either a BBC Nature reporter or a Disney animator. We also discuss the ups and downs of changing your PhD project and we get idealistic about the alternative reality of scientific publishing. Enjoy!



Check out Laura's IG: @whenimnotdoingscience and her Twitter account: @wwcajaldo

April 25, 2021

Episode 003 - Maciej Kerlin

Episode 003: Maciej Kerlin is a PhD student in the group of Prof. Antoine Coulon at the Institut Curie in France. His project is focused on enhancer-mediated gene co-regulation within the 3D genome. We talk about the mysterious TADs, conducting research in Europe and in the U.S. and navigating the academia to find your own niche. Maciek shares a story of how he would have become a geographer if it wasn’t for a plastic microscope and the astounding PCR technique. We also discuss the challenges of applying for funding in basic science and the importance of explaining our work to the public. Have fun listening!


Find Maciej on Twitter: @mkierun

April 11, 2021

Episode 002 - Yosman BapatDhar

Episode 002: Yosman BapatDhar is a neuroscientist and a PhD student in the group of Prof. Jozsef Csicsivari at IST Austria, where she's investigating the memory formation in the context of spatial navigation. We talk about her initial hate for biology, the perks of interdisciplinary education and scientific outreach. We get honest about feeling disillusioned with academia. We also discuss what keeps Yosman from going insane when PhD gets messy and what makes brain cool.  Enjoy!

March 29, 2021

Episode 001 - Elena Redchenko

Episode 001: Elena Redchenko is a physicist and a PhD student in the group of Prof. Johannes Fink at IST Austria. Her project is focused on collective states of superconducting qubits. We discuss how seemingly random choices have gotten her to doing the most cool science, the ups and downs of switching from theory to experimental approach and the importance of diversity in academia. We also cover how five-member music bands fit into Lena's everyday work, the magic of spectroscopy and the beauty of pole dancing. 


Find Lena on Twitter: @Yes_Red