On November 23 the plenary assembly of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS) elected eleven full members, two foreign members and one honorary member, as well as fourteen corresponding members as new members of the LAS. Among them is Anatoli I. Popov, leading researcher of the Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia (ISSP UL) as a LAS corresponding member, as well as Rotraute Merkle, leading researcher of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart as a foreign member of LAS.

Anatoli I. Popov's scientific research directions include point and radiation defects in wide-bandgap solid materials, their optical properties, luminescence across a broad spectral range; synchrotron radiation and neutron spectroscopy; studies of scintillators and dosimetry materials; nanomaterials and nanotechnologies.

Published works: H-index 39, more than 275 journal articles in international peer-reviewed journals (Scopus and Web of Science), cited more than 4290 times; more than 350 conference presentations.

Since 1993, A.I. Popov has regularly worked abroad as a visiting scientist in Europe (Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark) and Japan. He has been a visiting professor in Denmark, Spain, and Kazakhstan. Official opponent of four doctoral dissertations at the University of Tartu and four dissertations at Vilnius University. Currently, he is the supervisor of two doctoral theses.

A. I. Popov is a coordinator, leader, or participant in many international and Latvian scientific projects: ERA-NET, EUROfusion, Horizon 2020, COST, as well as projects of the Latvian Council of Science and Latvian State research programs.

Experience in organizational work: Member of the International Advisory Committee of the EURODIM, ICDIM, LUMDETR, OMEE, RPS-EFRE conferences and chairman of the EMRS symposia (2021-2023).

Speaking of R. Merkle, she received a PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1998 from the University of Stuttgart (Germany), where her supervisor was Prof. Helmut Bertagnolli. Since then, she has worked as a leading researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. She regularly organizes conferences on modern energy topics, including Solid State Ionics symposia at EMRS Spring conferences. R. Merkle is the scientific secretary and special issue editor of the journal “Solid State Ionics” and a reviewer for many scientific journals.

R. Merkle has supervised 16 doctoral theses.

R. Merkle's broad scientific interests include the formation and transport of point defects in ionic solids fundamental aspects, reaction kinetics on oxide surfaces, defects, transport and reactivity at grain boundaries, combining experimental and ab initio methods, as well as solid oxide and proton ceramic fuel cells.

R. Merkle is the author of more than 130 scientific publications and 5 book chapters with a total citation count of 4,282 and a Hirsch index of 38 (Scopus).

R. Merkle collaborates with the LU CFI in the field of new materials for energy (fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics), publishing more than 50 articles together with ISSP UL scientists. R. Merkle's election as a Foreign Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences will significantly promote the progressive research of materials in these areas, which are important for both Latvian research centers and the Latvian industry.

More information about the other LSA new members (in Latvian)