19 April 2024

Tagea Brandt's travel grant to Susanne Ditlevsen


Susanne Ditlevsen has received the Tagea Brandt Travel Grant 2024, awarded annually since 1924 to female researchers, writers, artists, musicians or actors.

The award recipient with the award committee, Liselotte Højgaard, Karen Grøn and Lasse Horne Kjældgaard.
The award recipient with the award committee, Liselotte Højgaard, Karen Grøn and Lasse Horne Kjældgaard.

"I am proud to join the ranks of women who have received this grant in the past. These are women I admire," says Susanne Ditlevsen.

"Tagea Brandt's Travel Grant was first awarded in 1924, and the awarding of the grant in 2024 is thus the foundation's 100th anniversary. This requires a very special candidate," writes Professor Liselotte Højgaard, chairwoman of the board. Below are excerpts from her recommendation for this year's recipient, who was presented with the award on 20 March 2024:

"Susanne Ditlevsen is a professor of mathematics, vice president of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and a top international researcher. She was an actress before she became world-renowned in mathematics. She fulfils the foundation as an outstanding woman in science and as a top researcher in mathematics, and as a woman she is one of very few.”

Susanne Ditlevsen was born in 1965 in Denmark, graduated from Det Fri Gymnasium in 1983, trained as an actress at Teaterklanen 1989, Denmark, then as an actress and theatre director at several theatre groups in Spain 1989-99. After touring for 10 years as an actress in Spain, Susanne Ditlevsen realized she was intellectually under-stimulated. She started studying math at a distance-learning university and took her math books with her on the tour bus. In 1999, she earned a master's degree in mathematics from Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Spain, and in 2000 she earned a master's degree in statistics from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

In 2005 she received her PhD at the Biostatistics Section with the thesis "Modeling of physiological processes by stochastic differential equations". She then became associate professor and from 2011 professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, where she was "Teacher of the Year" in 2017.

Susanne Ditlevsen's scientific focus is mathematical biology, perception, dynamical systems and statistical modeling of biological systems. She has published well over 100 scientific papers internationally including book chapters. Her paper in 2023: Peter Ditlevsen and Susanne Ditlevsen: "Warning of a forthcoming collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation", (Nature Communications, 14, 4254, 2023) was the cause of more than 2400 news stories around the world including interviews with the New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, CNN, BBC, Politiken, El Pais, El Observador etc. The article provided the mathematical background for the likely impact of climate change on the Gulf Stream in the near future.

As a unique female star in the research firmament of the mathematical sciences, Susanne Ditlevsen has made a very special contribution as a researcher at the highest level of excellence. At the same time, she is a valued teacher and supervisor, she communicates popular science about her difficult subject to the public, and she has taken on extensive tasks in national and international councils, committees and boards. Susanne Ditlevsen is a worthy candidate for the award of the scholarship at the 100th anniversary in March 2024."

Prof. Liselotte Højgaard, RH, KU and DTU
Chairwoman of the board of Tagea Brandt's Travel Grant

Susanne Ditlevsen and Karen Holdaway Grøn
The grant was awarded at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Karen Holdaway Grøn, member of the scholarship's board, posted this photo on LinkedIn afterwards with the words: "In the background is a gigantic painting by P. S. Krøyer, who has portrayed the (male) scientists of the time. Today we celebrated an outstanding WOMAN of science".

Tagea Brandt Travel Grant

The scholarship is awarded to outstanding women in science, visual arts, music, literature and acting. The scholarship was created in memory of Tagea Brandt, who died at the age of 35 in 1882. Tagea Brandt was committed to women's rights to education, and Vilhelm Brandt, who had made his fortune as co-owner of the large industrial enterprise Brandts Klædefabrik in Odense, founded the scholarship in her spirit. The scholarship was first awarded in 1924 to painter Anne Ancher and historian Ellen Jørgensen. Since then, approximately 300 women have been honoured.

Read more about the scholarship on Wikipedia (not updated).