Paranal Science Operations Alumni

Bin Yang
Bin was Staff Astronomer from 2016 to 2022. She was SINFONI and ERIS instrument scientist, providing support on UT4 and UT2. In March 2022 she started a position as faculty astronomer at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. 


Pedro Figueira
Pedro was Staff Astronomer from 2018 to 2022, providing support on UT3. He was ESPRESSO instrument scientist for three years. In March 2022 he was hired at the Observatory of Geneva to manage and upgrade the Swiss telescope at La Silla, while performing independent research.


Alain Smette
Until December 2021 Stephane Brillant was the Operations Scientist within PSO, and Deputy Department Head. In December 2021 he moved internally to the newly established Paranal System Engineering group, in the role of System Scientist.


Stephane Brillant
Until December 2021 Stephane Brillant was the Operations Scientist within PSO, and Deputy Department Head. In December 2021 he moved internally to the newly established Paranal System Engineering group, in the role of System Scientist.


Julien Milli
ESO PhD Student from 2012 to 2014.
Fellow from 2014 to 2016
Staff Astronomer and Adaptive Optics System Scientist from 2016 to 2019, also part of the SPHERE Instrument Operations Team and in charge of the Astrometeorolgy Group.

As of January 2020, he is Assistant Astronomer at IPAG (Institut de Planetologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France).


Dimitri Gadotti
Fellow from 2009 to 2013

Staff Astronomer from 2013 to 2017; provided support to UT1 and UT2, and as FLAMES Instrument Scientist, UT2 team coordinator, training coordinator and 4MOST Paranal contact point.

As of June 2017 he joins the Observing Programmes Offices at the ESO Headquarters in Germany.


Julien Girard
Staff Astronomer from 2009 to 2017. Lead Instrument Scientist of NACO (2009-2015) and SPHERE (2014-2017) as well as AO Group Coordinator (2009-2015).

As of 2017, he is a Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, MD, USA), supporting JWST/NIRCam and Coronagraphy.


Antoine Merand
Staff Astronomer from 2008 to 2016. Instrument Scientist of AMBER (2008-2010) and PRIMA (2010-2013). From 2012 to 2016, he was VLTI System Scientist.

As of 2017, he is VLTI Programme Scientist at ESO Headquarters in Garching.


Henri Boffin
Staff Astronomer from 2010 to April 2016, Instrument Scientist of FORS2 and HARPS as well as ESPRESSO 2nd Instrument Scientist, and Training coordinator. Supported observations on UT1, UT2 and VLTI.

As of 2016, Astronomer in the User Support Department, ESO, Garching, supporting SPHERE, FORS2, MUSE and KMOS.


Christophe Dumas
Staff Astronomer from 2004 to 2015, Head of Science Operations Department and SINFONI Instrument Scientist.

As of 2015, Observatory Scientist of the TMT, Pasadena, CA, USA.


Dimitri Mawet

Staff Astronomer from 2011 to 2015, Instrument Scientist of SPHERE.

As of 2015, Associate Professor of Astronomy and JPL Senior Research Scientist at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.


Lorenzo Monaco
Staff Astronomer from 2010 to 2015, Instrument Scientist of UVES, HARPS and XSHOOTER 2nd Instrument Scientist. While Fellow in La Silla (2005-2008), he was EFOSC2 Instrument Scientist (and HARPS 2nd Instrument Scientist).

As of 2015, Assistant Professor at Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile.


Giacomo Beccari 
Staff Astronomer from mid-2013 to end of 2014, Instrument Scientist of OMEGACAM.

As of 2015, he is an Astronomer in the User Support Department (USD), ESO Garching. USD responsible for XSHOOTER.


Yazan Al Momany
Staff Astronomer from 2008 to 2014, Instrument Scientist of VISIR.

As of 2014, Staff Research Astronomer, Padova Observatory, Italy.


Valentin Ivanov
Fellow on Paranal starting in 2001. From 2004 to 2008, he was a Support Astronomer for SofI on La Silla. From 2008 to 2014, he was Staff Astronomer and Instrument Scientist for ISAAC, VIRCAM, VISIR and SofI.

As of 2014, he is on a temporary transfer as Astronomer in the Data Product Department, ESO Garching.


Jean-Philippe Berger
Staff Astronomer from 2009 to 2013, Instrument Scientist of AMBER.

As of 2013, he is the VLTI Programme Scientist at ESO Garching.


Kieran O'Brien
Staff astronomer from 2002 to 2009, Instrument Scientist for FORS spectrographs.

Joined USCB as a project scientist from 2009-2012 working on ARCONS instrument. In 2012, joined the instrumentation group at the University of Oxford and is currently a Senior Researcher responsible for developing the spectrographs for HARMONI, the E-ELT first light spectrograph.


Paola Amico
Staff Astronomer from 2005 to 2009, Instrument Scientist of NACO and AO team coordinator.

Since 2009, Instrument Physicist, ESO Garching.


Chris Lidman

ESO Fellow from 1995 to 1997 and Staff astronomer from 1998 to 2009, Instrument Scientist of IRAC1, IRAC2, SofI, ISAAC, and NACO.
Since 2010, Head of National Facilities Support, Australian Astronomical Observatory.


Swetlana Hubrig
Staff astronomer from 2001 to March 2009, instrument scientist of UVES, FLAMES, CRIRES.

Since March 2009 Head of the Department "Stellar Physics and Stellar Activity" at the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Germany.


Fredrik Rantakyro
Staff Astronomer from 2003 to 2008, Instrument Scientist of AMBER.

From 2008 to 2014, he worked as Associate Scientist at Gemini South, Chile, and Instrument Scientist for GPI. From 2014 to the present, he is Scientist at Gemini South, Chile and Instrument Scientist for GPI.


Olivier Hainaut
Staff Astronomer from 1998 to 2008, Head of the Science Operations Department. From 2008 until 2015, he worked as Astronomer in the Education and Public Outreach Department, ESO Garching.

Since 2016, Olivier is the End-to-End Operations Scientist in the Data Management and Operations Division, ESO Garching.


Stefano Bagnulo
Staff Astronomer from 2002 to 2007.

As of 2007, Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory, UK.


Emmanuel Jehin
ESO Fellow from 2000 to 2003. Started as Staff Astronomer from 2003 to 2007, and Instrument Scientist of FORS1 and 2.

As of 2007, he works as FNRS Belgium Research Associate, Astronomer at the Liège University, Belgium.


Christian Hummel 
Staff Astronomer from August 2003 to April 2007.

As of April 2007, he has worked as Astronomer in the User Support Department, ESO Garching.


Jura Borissova
Staff astronomer from 2004 to 2006, Instrument Scientist of ISAAC.

As of 2006, she is Full Professor at the University of Valparaiso, Chile.


Olivier Marco
Staff astronomer from 2000 to 2006, Instrument Scientist of NACO.

As of 2008, he has worked as the Media and Communications Officer at the CNRS, France. He is also in charge of CNRS internet radio (


Andreas Jaunsen
Started in 2000–2002, as ESO Fellow at the Paranal Observatory. From 2002–2005, he was Staff Astronomer and Instrument Scientist of ISAAC. During 2005-2009, obtained Post-doc, Institute of Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Norway. In 2009, he was Senior Advisor, for the Norwegian Research Council. In 2010, he moved to the IT centre, University of Oslo, Norway.

From 2010-present, he is Project Manager and Special Advisor for UNINETT Sigma2 AS (national e-infrastructure provider).


Eric Pantin
Staff astronomer from August 2004 to March 2005 on a time-limited mission corresponding to VISIR mounting and commissioning on the telesope. In March 2005,  he went back to his home institute in Saclay. He was also a Fellow for 15 months at La Silla between August 1996 to December 1997, Instrument Scientist for TIMMI.

As of 2005, Astronomer at the CEA, Saclay, France.


Andreas Kaufer
Operation Staff Astronomer from 1999 to 2003, Instrument Scientist for UVES, FLAMES as well as Head of the General Operations Group in SCIOPS.

In 2003 to 2006 he was the Instrumentation Scientist within the Director's Office and the Head of the Paranal Instrumentation Group within Paranal Engineering.

As of 2006 to date, he is the Division Head and Director of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. Additionally, in 2008 to date he became the Director of Operations. In 2009 to 2011, he was Acting Head of the ESO ALMA Support Center.


Leonardo Vanzi
Joined ESO as a Fellow in May 1998. Became Staff Astronomer in 2000. During this period, he worked at La Silla as Instrument Scientist of SOFI, at APEX and at Paranal as Instrument Scientist of VISIR.

He joined PUC in 2008 as Associate Professor at the School of Engineering and Center of Astro Engineering, in Chile.