ESO Science Outreach Network

 

The ESO education and Public Outreach Department has established a network of contacts in the ESO Member states and other countries. The goal of this ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) is to act locally as ESO's media and outreach representative, in order to promote ESO's mission and achievements, and demonstrate the many inspirational aspects of astronomy. The ESON contacts can also serve as interface between the local scientists and the media. The communication between the member states (at the official and scientific levels)  and ESO, takes place through ESO's governing bodies, and not through ESON, which deals only with outreach matters.

The ESON members are science communicators who know the national media and stake-holders, and regularly interact with them. They have a strong interest in promoting ESO, and provide regular inputs and ideas for how to best reach the target groups in their area. The ESON nodes are also in charge of translating the ESO material in their national language.

Below is the list of ESON members. If your country is not represented, and if you or your organization would be interested in acting as ESO's local outreach contact, contact us at information@eso.org.

 

ESON Countries

Member States: Austria Belgium Brazil Czech Republic Denmark Finland France Germany Italy Netherlands Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland UnitedKingdom
Non-Member States: Albania Australia Hungary Iceland Ireland Latvia Norway Poland Romania Russia Serbia Turkey Ukraine UnitedStates Host State:  Chile
 

ESO Member States — Contacts and Biographies


Austria

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/austria/

Dr Peter Habison

Austrian Planetarium Society
Vienna, Austria
Cel: +43 676 6487003
E-mail: eson-austria@eso.org

Peter Habison studied Physics at the University of Technology in Vienna, Astronomy and the History of Sciences at the University of Vienna. From 1995-2011 he was director of Kuffner Observatory and from 2000-2011 director of Vienna Planetarium and Urania Observatory in Vienna. Since 2009 he is managing the European Southern Observatory Network for Science Communication and Outreach in Austria and collaborates in national and international projects with ESA, NASA and the Austrian broadcasting cooperation ORF. International studies and work experience brought him to the University of Innsbruck, Université Libre at Brussels (Belgium) and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias at Tenerife (Spain). He lectured at the University of Technology in Vienna, worked as tutor at the FFG Astrophysical Summer School Alpbach and gives regular lectures at planetaria, observatories and conferences worldwide on astronomical topics. He is an expert in the history of Kuffner Observatory and Kuffner family, Planetarium techniques, astronomy visualisation, communicating astronomy with the public and science communications. He is active in stimulating interest and enthusiasm for the young generation in space astrophysics and natural sciences. He is member of the International Academy of Astronautics, International Planetarium Society, Astronomische Gesellschaft, Österreichische Physikalische Gesellschaft, Gesellschaft deutschsprachiger Planetarien and Gesellschaft Österreichischer Planetarien.

 

 


Belgium

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/belgium/

Dr Rodrigo Alvarez

Planetarium, Royal Observatory of Belgium
Avenue de Bouchout
B-1020 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32-2-474 70 50
E-mail: eson-belgium@eso.org

Rodrigo Alvarez holds a PhD in astrophysics, obtained in 1997 at the University Denis Diderot (Paris VII). His research field concerned long-period variable AGB stars. Since 2001, he has been in charge of the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. He acts as the Belgian national node for several educational and/or outreach projects, such as ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office, an educational project pursued by ESA) and the Hands-on Universe (European Comenius project). As the Belgian Single Point of Contact during the International Year of Astronomy 2009, he coordinated the activities of dozens of participants and promoted the numerous events organised during the year in Belgium.


Brazil

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/brazil/

Dr Gustavo Rojas

Núcleo de Formação de Professores — Universidade Federal de São Carlos
Rod. Washington Luiz km 235
São Carlos - SP
13565-905
Brasil
Tel: +55 16 3351 9795
E-mail: eson-brazil@eso.org

Gustavo began his astronomy activities while he was a physics undergraduate at the University of São Paulo (USP). He then undertook postgraduate studies at USP, investigating young, low-mass stars, their chemical abundances and circumstellar environments. Since 2008 he has been a full-time astronomer at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), located 240 km northwest of São Paulo. He is in charge of a small observatory and works mainly on educational and outreach activities. Among the projects he is currently working on are the videocast, O Céu da Semana (The Weekly Sky) and the radio show Paideia. Both are produced in collaboration with the Open Laboratory for Interactivity (LAbI) at UFSCar. He is also an editor of the Latin American Journal of Astronomy Education (RELEA) and one of the Brazilian representatives in Galileo Teacher Training Program. His main interests in addition to astronomy are travelling, reading, photography and music.
Read Gustavo’s blog.
Gustavo on Twitter and YouTube.


Czech Republic

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/czechrepublic/

Mgr. Viktor Votruba PhD

Stellar Department
Astronomical Institute
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Fricova 298
Ondrejov
25 165
Czech Republic
E-mail: eson-czech@eso.org

Viktor Votruba studied at the Masaryk University at Brno University in the Czech Republic. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in general physics, he moved to the Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics at the same university. During his subsequent studies he focused mainly on nonlinear dynamics (for which he was awarded a Master's degree in 2000) and the hydrodynamics of the stellar wind from hot stars (obtaining his PhD on the topic in 2006). He was awarded the Dean's prize in the Faculty of Natural Science for his work on nonlinear dynamics.

Afterwards, he took up a post-doctoral position at the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Science, where he continued to work on stellar wind dynamics and nonlinear effects in stellar variability, and now works as a scientist. For his contributions to the study of the stellar wind from hot stars Viktor was awarded the Otto Wichterle Prize. He teaches a course in numerical methods in astrophysics and cosmology at Masaryk University and is an experienced supervisor of diploma and doctoral theses. He has been a member of the IAU since 2008.

Viktor Votruba has been popularising the natural sciences, and especially astronomy, for ten years, ever since he started as a lector at the public observatory in Brno. He teaches and informs students and the general public alike about new results in astronomy and about progress made in astrophysical research at an introductory level. He was also a co-organiser for the astronomical camp for young astronomers, which is hosted at the public observatory every summer. When not doing astronomy he is also a big volleyball fan.

Read Viktor's personal web page: http://physics.muni.cz/%7Evotruba/uvod.html


Denmark

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/denmark/

Carol Anne Oxborrow

National Space Institute, DTU Space,
Elektrovej 328,
2800 Kongens Lyngby
Denmark
Tel.: +45  45 259733
E-mail: eson-denmark@eso.org 

Michael Linden-Vørnle

National Space Institute, DTU Space,
Elektrovej 328,
2800 Kongens Lyngby
Denmark
Tel.: +45  45 259761
E-mail: eson-denmark@eso.org


Finland

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/finland/

Dr Rami T.F. Rekola

Tuorla Observatory,
Väisäläntie 20,
FI-21500 PIIKKIÖ,
Finland
Tel.: +358 2 333 8981 (work), +358 44 967 2424 (cell)
E-mail: eson-finland@eso.org

Rami has a PhD in astronomy (University of Turku, Finland, 2007) and has worked in Tuorla Observatory since 1996. His primary research interest is in the Local Group of galaxies and the Local Volume. He has measured distances to other galaxies using Cepheid variable stars, surface brightness fluctuation method and planetary nebula luminosity function. He has also been involved in studies of galaxy masses and distribution in the Local Volume. His other research interests include astrobiology and asteroids. He has worked seven months at the Nordic Optical Telescope NOT, La Palma, Spain, and used the NTT, and the ESO 3.6m and Danish 1.54m telescopes on La Silla for observations. Since 2007 Rami has been the NOT science school researcher in charge of Finnish senior secondary school groups visiting the NOT for a wee moment of observations. He has been involved in the planning of Tuorla Planetarium and the forthcoming Tuorla Visitor Centre. He gives astronomy lectures and courses at schools and for organisations and companies, and maintains several astronomy related web sites. He is currently a board member in Finnish national Ursa Astronomical Association, secretary of professional astronomers' Tuorlan Astronomical Society, and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Besides astronomy Rami is interested in producing arts, writing fantasy fiction, hiking in the nature, and cooking.
  - Visit Rami's website: http://www.caelus.fi/rr/


France

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/france/

Thierry Botti

Responsable de la communication
Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence
Technopole de Château-Gombert
38, rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie
F-13388 Marseille cedex 13
France
Tel: +33-04 95 04 41 06
E-mail: eson-france@eso.org

After a master’s degree in economics and additional studies in communication, Thierry’s interest in international cooperation took him to the French Ministry of Education and Research. He went on to work in the cooperation and international division of the Ministry, and subsequently for a new French agency called EduFrance (now named Campus France). In both cases he was in charge of promoting French higher education to foreign students. He specialised in Latin American countries, organising numerous events from Argentina to Mexico, via Brazil, Venezuela etc. After that, he decided to spend some years working in South America, taking a new professional direction as deputy director of the Alliance Française in Buenos Aires, which is not only an educational institution dedicated to teaching French, but also a cultural centre and an important media library, offering a large range of activities related to the French language and culture. He then chose once again to turn his knowledge in communication toward another field of activities and found a job at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in charge of the communication department of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence. Here he manages many activities including outreach, press relations and public relations. A very exciting job.


Germany

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/germany/

Dr Markus Pössel

Haus der Astronomie
MPIA-Campus 
Königstuhl 17    
D-69117 Heidelberg
Germany
Tel: +49 6221 528-261
E-mail: eson-germany@eso.org

Markus Pössel obtained his diploma in physics from Hamburg University in 1997, staying on for a PhD in quantum gravity, which he completed in 2003. Research for this PhD was carried out at the Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), where Markus also started his slow slide into science outreach, writing several books, editing a popular science website on relativity theory called Einstein Online, and co-curating part of the Einstein exhibition in Berlin in 2005, among other activities. In 2007, he moved to New York as Senior Science Advisor to the newly-founded World Science Festival. In 2009, he returned to Germany, where he is now managing scientist of the Haus der Astronomie (literally the House of Astronomy), a newly-founded Centre for Astronomy Education and Outreach in Heidelberg. In 2010 he became the chief public relations officer at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy.
Read Markus’s blog, Relativ Einfach.
Visit the website of Haus der Astronomie and the Facebook page.

 

Dr Carolin Liefke

Haus der Astronomie
MPIA-Campus 
Königstuhl 17    
D-69117 Heidelberg
Germany
Tel: +49 6221 528 226
E-Mail: eson-germany@eso.org

Carolin has been an amateur astronomer since the impact of comet Shoemaker–Levi 9 on Jupiter in 1994, when she was thirteen years old. Two years later she bought her first real telescope, a three-inch refractor. Today she owns a total of four telescopes, the biggest one a 16-inch dobsonian. Carolin is a member of several astronomy associations and a moderator in the Astrotreff, one of the biggest German-speaking astronomy-related internet communities. Carolin studied physics at the University of Hamburg and worked on stellar activity and X-ray astronomy at the Hamburger Sternwarte for her PhD. Among the highlights of her scientific career were two visits to Paranal, where she observed flare stars with the UVES spectrograph at Kueyen, one of the VLT's 8-metre telescopes. For more than ten years, Carolin has been involved in astronomy education and outreach. In March 2010, she turned this passion into a profession and is now working at the Haus der Astronomie, the Centre for Astronomy Education and Outreach in Heidelberg, where she is responsible for teacher training in astronomy at the University of Heidelberg, astronomy-related projects for high-school students, and for the centre’s telescopes. Carolin is a big fan of science fiction and fantasy. In her spare time, she goes hiking and climbing in the Alps.
Read Carolin’s blog. Carolin on Xing.
Visit the website of Haus der Astronomie and the Facebook page.


Italy

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/italy/

Anna Wolter

Via Brera, 28
20121 Milano
Italy
Tel: +39-02-72320321
E-mail: eson-italy@eso.org

Anna Wolter is an astrophysicist, and has been working at the INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera in Milan, Italy since 1991. After a physics degree in Milan she began her scientific career at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. There she helped to construct one of the best-exploited surveys of X-ray sources, serendipitously found in the Einstein Observatory images, the Extended Medium Sensitivity Survey (EMSS). She has dealt with all kinds of X-ray emitters, from stars to clusters of galaxies, but her main interest was with the class of the highly luminous and variable galaxy nuclei called BL Lacs. More recently she has moved from the point-like sources at the centres of galaxies to the diffuse/unresolved emission within them. She now devotes much of her time to the study of ultraluminous X-ray sources, a puzzling class of sources in external galaxies, which probably harbour heavy black holes, intermediate in mass between the light stellar ones and the supermassive nuclei at the centre of galaxies. Part to the time she focuses on the statistical analysis of complete samples, deriving luminosity functions, and for the remainder she studies in detail a few selected and complex objects, like galaxies, which have many different components that contribute to the overall emission. The main wavelength of interest is always X-ray, but Anna believes that a multiwavelength approach is important for a complete insight into an astronomical problem and so has worked with almost every energy band accessible. She is Principal Investigator of optical, radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations of various celestial sources. She is author and co-author of about a hundred papers in refereed journals and about as many contributions to International meetings. In the last ten years she has devoted a significant fraction of her time to both teaching and outreach activities. She delivers lectures on key topics as part of the astrophysics curriculum at the Milan universities, and tutors Laurea and post-Laurea students. She delivers conferences and lectures for the public and for high school and middle school classes on various astrophysical topics.


The Netherlands

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/netherlands/

Dr Marieke Baan

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie
NOVA Informatie Centrum
Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31(0)20-5257480
E-mail: eson-netherlands@eso.org

Marieke studied at the universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam. She worked for the Dutch public broadcaster NOS from 1991–2003. After two years working as a freelancer writing on new media issues, she then switched her career to astronomy and communications. She has been a Public Information Officer and Head of Communication at the Dutch Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) since 2005. This top research school is a cooperation between the astronomical institutes of the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen. The NOVA Information Centre communicates astronomy with the general public, press and schools in the Netherlands. The office is based at the University of Amsterdam and works with three staff members and seven freelancers. Educational outreach has been developing fast since 2010, and features a mobile planetarium, digiboard lessons, apps and exercises for school children. Marieke was the Dutch coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. She is also the editor of the Dutch astronomy website www.astronomie.nl.

You can follow Marieke on Twitter for astronomy and personal tweets and on @astronomieNL for astronomy only and on @eso_netherlands for ESO news..


Portugal

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/portugal/

Dr. Margarida Serote Roos

Lightcurve Films
8950-282 Castro Marim
Portugal
Tel: +351 964951692
E-mail: eson-portugal@eso.org

Margarida Serote holds a PhD in astrophysics (University of Paris 7, 1996). Her main research field concerned extragalactic astronomy, namely the study of active galactic nuclei in terms of their stellar populations. She has also worked on large-scale structures, trying to understand the effects of redshift and environment in clusters of galaxies. For almost 14 years Margarida worked as a scientist at the Paris–Meudon Observatory, France, and afterwards at the Lisbon Observatory, Portugal. She has been actively promoting astronomy to the public ever since she started her undergraduate studies in 1986, by giving talks, courses, leading planetarium shows and writing popular articles. For four years she edited a monthly publication of the Lisbon Observatory, distributed on a national level to all secondary schools and was a founding member of the Portuguese Astronomical Society.  More recently she has started working as a film producer. Together with her husband, she runs a small film company called Lightcurve Films. They have produced over 35 films, mostly on topics related to astrophysics, often with an educational angle and aimed at younger students and a general audience. Margarida also translates scientific books.


Spain

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/spain/

Dr Miguel Mas-Hesse

Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB; CSIC-INTA)
POB 78
28691 Villanueva de la Cañada
Spain
Tel: +34 91 813 11 96
E-mail: eson-spain@eso.org

Miguel has a PhD in astrophysics, with a special interest in the study of violent star-forming episodes in the Universe (massive starbursts), and their relation to active galactic nuclei. He completed his PhD under the supervision of Dr D. Kunth (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris) on the properties of starburst galaxies, combining population synthesis models with ultraviolet–optical–infrared observations. Recently his research has focused on the properties of Lyman-alpha emission in these galaxies, which is a powerful tool for unveiling the evolution of star formation through the history of the Universe. In parallel, he has participated in the development of space instrumentation for astronomy: as Principal Investigator for the Optical Monitoring Camera on the high energy ESA INTEGRAL observatory, and as Co-Investigator on the Spanish MINISAT-01-LEGRI gamma-ray imager and finally, on the Bepi Colombo MIXS X-ray imaging spectrometer. He is presently working on instruments for the ESA PLATO mission. Between 1991 and 2003 Miguel worked at the Spanish Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), after some years at Madrid Complutense University (1986–1990) and a postdoctoral stay at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching (1990–1991). This stay marked his first direct interaction with ESO, which is located close to the MPE building. Since 2003 he has been a CSIC staff researcher at the Center for Astrobiology, a joint institute between the Spanish INTA and CSIC (the Spanish research council), which is also associated to the NASA Astrobiology Institute. He enjoys talking about astronomy to the general public and being responsible for the outreach activities of a Spanish consortium working for the 10.2-metre GTC telescope in La Palma. Apart from astronomy and astronautics, he likes skiing and hiking, frequently visiting the mountains close to Madrid.
Read CAB Website.

 

Natalia Ruiz Zelmanovitch

Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB; CSIC-INTA)
POB 78
28691 Villanueva de la Cañada
Spain
Tel: +34 91 813 11 96
E-mail: eson-spain@eso.org

Natalia studied translation and interpretation (French and English) at the University of Granada, and soon afterwards she discovered her passion for communication. After some years writing and working for local radio, television and press offices in Granada, in 2001 she moved to the Canary Islands, where she fell in love with astronomy, mostly because of the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). There, she developed the GTC Communication Plan, doing the tasks of a Public Information Officer (press releases, website info, media relations, audiovisuals etc.), as well as other areas of activity, including training science journalists, participating in the editorial team of the IAC journal, running activities for children etc. After seven years at the IAC, she moved to Madrid to do public outreach for the Consolider-GTC project (a group of 170 astronomers working with the GTC) at the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB/INTA-CSIC) (associated with NASA Astrobiology Institute), where the topics and the challenges are wider. She loves travelling, writing short stories (www.cuentofilia.com) and theatre (she played the role of Henrietta Leavitt at the theatre piece The lost honour of Henrietta Leavitt, created by Carmen del Puerto — Director of the Science and Cosmos Museum in Tenerife — to celebrate the IYA2009). Since 2009, she also writes and presents a radio section in Galaxias y Centellas, a programme that promotes science and technology.
Natalia on Facebook


Sweden

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/sweden/

Robert Cumming

Onsala Space Observatory
SE-439 92 Onsala
Sweden
Tel: +46-31 772 5500
Mobile: +46 70 49 33114
E-mail: eson-sweden@eso.org

Robert Cumming, 43, lives in Göteborg, Sweden. Born in Scotland, he studied in Edinburgh and London and moved to Stockholm in 1994. He is an astronomer at the Onsala Space Observatory, where he mostly works with outreach and information. When he gets a chance to do some research, he is interested in measuring the gas and stars in nearby galaxies that resemble the blue, energetic star factories that were common when the Universe was younger. Haro 11 is a favourite. He is also editor for the Swedish astronomy magazine Populär Astronomi and blogs about astronomy and space in Swedish at the magazine's page popast.nu. You can find him on Twitter as @maltesk, or out in the wilds with a pair of binoculars in his hands. At night for the stars, of course, or by day for birdwatching.
Read his blog posts.
Robert on Twitter

 

Johan Lindberg

Onsala Space Observatory
Department of earth and space sciences, Chalmers university of technology
SE-439 92 Onsala
Sweden
E-mail: eson-sweden@eso.org

Johan Lindberg studied engineering physics and radio astronomy at Chalmers University of Technology. After getting his master's of science degree in 2009, he went to La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, as a student support astronomer at the Nordic Optical Telescope. He then wrote his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Copenhagen, which was defended in late 2013. The thesis discusses how very young protostars and the molecules in their gaseous envelopes are affected by massive stars in their surroundings. The aim of his research is to better understand how the young stars are affected by the environment in their star-forming region, which is important when we want to understand the surroundings in which our own Solar System was formed almost 5 billion years ago. He is also interested in molecules in galaxies, and he now holds a short-term position at Onsala Space Observatory to study this chemistry. This autumn he will start working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA. When he is not studying young stars with radio telescopes, he enjoys playing the violin in an amateur orchestra, singing in a choir, and reading.


Switzerland

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/switzerland/

Nicolas Cretton

Liceo di Lugano 2
Nuova Via S. Gottardo
6942 Savosa
Switzerland 
E-mail: eson-switzerland@eso.org

Nicolas studied physics at Geneva University, and specialised in astrophysics/astronomy at the Geneva Observatory. He graduated in 1993 and started a PhD with Professor P.T. de Zeeuw at Leiden University (The Netherlands). He worked on the construction of computer dynamical models for elliptical galaxies. Once this powerful tool was finished and tested, he applied it to several galaxies and showed that the observed stellar velocities could not be explained without the presence of dark matter, either in the form of supermassive central black holes (as for M32, the dwarf companion of the Andromeda Galaxy) or extended massive dark halos (as for NGC 2434). His main collaborators were H.-W. RixR.P. van der Marel and F. van den Bosch. After completing his PhD, he went to the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg in a post-doctoral position for two years. In 2001 he took up a fellowship at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich. In parallel to his ongoing research, Nicolas worked on a multi-fibre instrument for the VLT, Flames, which feeds two spectrographs, GIRAFFE and UVES. At the end of 2004, Nicolas moved to Lugano and became a high school physics teacher at the Liceo di Lugano 2. During his first year of teaching, he studied pedagogy in the Alta Scuola Pedagogica of Locarno and graduated in the summer of 2005. Check Nicolas’s classes here. In his free time, Nicolas enjoys biking, reading books, including comic books, playing video games. He is also interested in global warming, astrobiology, human origins and debating.
Read Nicolas’s personal web page.
Nicolas on Facebook


United Kingdom

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/

Wendy Ellison

Science and Technology Facilities Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Swindon
Wilts SN2 1SZ
UK
E-mail: eson-uk@eso.org

Wendy Ellison is a press officer for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of the UK's leading research organisations. STFC runs the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space, funds astronomy research in the UK, and manages the UK subscription to ESO.

Wendy has a background in PR and science communication, working to promote the wide range of science coming out of STFC.


Chile

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/chile/

Valentina Rodriguez

ESO Santiago Office
Alonso de Cordova 3107
Vitacura
Chile
Tel: +56-2-463-3258
Email: eson-chile@eso.org

Valentina Rodríguez has been the Press Officer of ESO in Chile since 2004, acting as liaison between ESO and local and international media based in the country. She arrived at ESO after a productive career as science editor of the award-winning section Aldea Global at the Chilean newspaper La Nación, following her previous experience as a foreign correspondent for radio, TV and newspapers in Washington DC, USA. Valentina obtained a journalism degree at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile) in 1996 and a Master’s in science communication at Pompeu Fabra University (Spain) in 2000.

Albania

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/albania/

Herald Buneci

Rr. M. Shyri, Pallati. 5, Shkalla 1, Apartamenti 8,
Tiranë,
Shqipëri - Albania
Cel: +355 (0)67 250 6587
E-mail: eson-albania@eso.org

Erald Buneci was born on 14 January, 1976 in Tirana, Albania. As long as he can remember, he has always been fascinated by physics in general and astronomy in particular. He is graduated in physics at the University of Tirana in 2002. Since 2002, he has been an active member of the “Albanian Astronomical Society” (QShA – Qendra Shqiptare e Astrofizikes www.albastrofizika.org), and he is the Society's web master. He is also member and representative of the “Teacher Training Program” in Albania and IYA 2009. In 2003-2005 he also worked as a translator of scientific articles for newspapers in Tirana. Since 2002, he is a secondary school teacher, in physics, mathematics and computer science.


Australia

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/australia/

Dr. Tanya Hill

Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks
Museum Victoria,
GPO Box 666,
Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia

Public Phone Number: +61 400 130 675
Email: eson-australia@eso.org

Dr Tanya Hill has been the Astronomer for the Melbourne Planetarium since it opened at Scienceworks in 1999. She holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Sydney, where she searched for supermassive black holes within a sample of 25 galaxies. For her research, she has used a range of Australian telescopes including the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Radio Telescope, and NASA’s Tidbinbilla Radio Telescope located in the ACT. While studying for her PhD, Tanya also worked as a Guide Lecturer at Sydney Observatory, which ignited her passion for science communication. She has produced more than a dozen planetarium shows and Melbourne Planetarium productions can now be seen across 15 countries around the world. One of her favourites is Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown which draws together research from her postgraduate studies to bring to life all that is fascinating and extreme in the world black holes.

Dr. Mita Brierley

Project Officer, Astronomy Australia Limited
P.O. Box 2100,
Hawthorn, VIC 3122,
Australia

Phone: +61 3 9214 8012 (office)
Web: http://www.astronomyaustralia.org.au/
Email: eson-australia@eso.org

Mita Brierley is based in Melbourne, Australia and works for Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) as their Project Officer. AAL is a not-for-profit company that aims to provide Australian astronomers with access to world-class national and international astronomy research infrastructure.

Mita holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where her research focused on determining global properties of extra-galactic globular clusters, which can be used as tracers for galactic evolution. Mita has been interested in astronomy and astronomy outreach from a very young age. Her first job during high-school was as a planetarium presenter and telescope operator at the Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate years, she was heavily involved in a wide range of outreach activities: from running public telescope-viewing sessions, to giving talks and running activity sessions at primary and secondary schools, to presenting public lectures to general audiences. After completing her PhD, she continued at the University of Canterbury as a lecturer in undergraduate physics and astronomy until her move to Australia in 2011.


Hungary

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/hungary/

Ákos Kereszturi

MTA Csillagászati és Földtudományi Kutatóközpont
Konkoly-Thege Miklós út 15-17.
H-1121 Budapest
Hungary
Tel: +3630-343-7876
E-mail: eson-hungary@eso.org

Akos Kereszturi is a geologist, working on topics related to planetary geology and astrobiology. He is currently a researcher at the Konkoly-Thege Miklos Astronomical Institute (Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences), analysing the possibility of there being past or present water on Mars. At the Polaris Observatory, he works on astronomy-related outreach projects, organising lectures, public events, writing articles and teaching at two Hungarian universities. Kereszturi is the secretary of the Károly Nagy Astronomical Foundation.

 

Ferenc Horvai

Károly Nagy Astronomical Foundation
Székely utca 2-4.
H-1011 Budapest
Hungary
Cell: +3630-323-9750
E-mail: eson-hungary@eso.org

Ferenc Horvai is an astronomer and physics teacher, and has been the leader of a study group involving high school students at the Polaris Observatory, Budapest, since 2002. He has worked for the Hungarian Space Office since 2005. He founded the Károly Nagy Astronomical Foundation in 2009, of which he is currently president. The most important mission of this foundation is to show the miracles of the sky to the general public, and to present the most interesting fields of astronomy and space activity and highlight their importance. He frequently gives interviews to the media, writes articles, gives a lot of lectures for the public, organises different astronomical and/or space events and studies astronomical sites in Hungary.


Iceland

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/iceland/

Sævar Helgi Bragason

Center for Astrophysics and Cosmology
University of Iceland
Dunhaga 5 (Tæknigarður)
107 Reykjavík
Iceland
Tel: +354-896-1984
E-mail: eson-iceland@eso.org

Sævar was born on 17 April 1984 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Fascinated by astronomy for as long as he can remember, he became hooked when he saw Saturn through a telescope for the first time at a very young age. Sævar did not head straight to university after he finished high school, but became a high school teacher in physics and astronomy for two years. After that, he started undergraduate studies in geology at the University of Iceland, with the aim of becoming a planetary geologist, but he soon discovered that his heart belonged to astrophysics. Therefore, he decided to start studying astrophysics in Denmark in late 2011. He is mostly fascinated by observational astrophysics, and the search for exoplanets in particular. Along with his studies, Sævar works as a science communicator/Public Information Officer for the Centre of Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Iceland. He is also an editor of the Icelandic astronomy website http://www.stjornuskodun.is and chairman of the Amateur Astronomical Society. He runs a small company called Sjónaukar.is which specialises in selling telescopes and other equipment for stargazers. Other interests involve hiking, travelling, playing and watching football (a passionate Liverpool fan), photography and relaxing in front of his HDTV. He loves seeing the Universe with his own eyes, but his greatest joy is watching his son growing up. 31 December 2010 was the best day of his life — when he witnessed his fiancée give birth to their son.
Visit Sævar’s website.
Sævar on Facebook, Twitter  and Flickr 


Ireland

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/ireland/

Clair McSweeney

Facilities Manager
Blackrock Castle Observatory
Blackrock
Cork
Ireland
Tel: +353 21 4357917
Email: eson-ireland@eso.org

Clair McSweeney has a background in festival and event management, visitor centre management, social media and cultural and community outreach. She works closely with local education, community and tourism facilitators in her position as Facilities Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, home to Cosmos at the Castle, an internationally award winning astronomy exhibit. BCO is also the site of BCOLabs, a research observatory.

Clair was born in Limerick, Ireland and has many years experience in cross-cultural event and facilities management with related positions in Ireland, Jamaica, Germany and San Francisco, USA. She graduated from University College Galway with an Honours BA in Arts and Languages in 1992 and has postgraduate diplomas in tourism and communications.

Clair is the only non-scientist in a work team of six scientists; this allows for varied and complementary skill sets to create agendas and programmes that showcase both the interactive astronomy exhibit and the outreach which manifests from Cosmos at the Castle, the research at BCO Labs and the facility’s global astronomy links. This includes work with her position as ESON representative in Ireland, projects with ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) Ireland, spearheading local and national IYA2009 events and Beyond, UNAWE projects, Cork Science Café, Cork Skeptics at the Castle, high profile events such as an on-orbit live link to the ISS, international affiliations — EarthHour, Globe at Night, GAM, pan-global observatory links and locally, a host of Cork festivals that have found that astronomy really IS everywhere!

Her position at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory has opened her eyes to the opportunities afforded to a science centre that uses astronomy as a tool to engage with a wider audience.

Clair’s position as ESON representative in Ireland has both generated an enhanced BCO audience and a greater awareness of the work of ESO in Ireland. Her work with ESERO in Ireland has created new opportunities for developing space as a theme to engage STEM learning in the classroom.

Clair managed a highly successful programme of astronomy related activities for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 including orchestrating the theme of the Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade, UNAWE projects and lecture tours with the Vatican Astronomer, Br Guy Consolmagno and Carolyn Porco, Imaging Director for the Cassini Huygens mission to Saturn. She has also organised the Earth Hour action in Cork city.
Check the website of the Blackrock Castel Observatory, their Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Tom Bonner

Technical Officer
IT Services
Cork Institute of Technology
Cork
Ireland
E-Mail: eson-ireland@eso.org 


Latvia

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/latvia/

Martins Gills

Deputy chief editor
Periodical Zvaigznota Debess (Starry sky)
Raina bulvaris 19
LV 1586 Riga
Latvia
Tel: +371-29289205
Email: eson-latvia@eso.org

Martins has a doctoral degree in computer science (Dr.sc.comp.).Professionally works in IT area, but considerable part of his time devotes to communication of astronomy. As project manager at Latvian Astronomical Society, he has organized numerous public outreach events; takes part in organizing monthly astronomy seminars and biannual star parties. In International Year of Astronomy 2009, Martins was the SpoC for Latvia. For more than a decade, he actively works in the editorial board of the local quarterly periodical Zvaigznota Debess (Starry sky). In recent years, he is being regularly addressed by journalists for additional information about astronomical events or comments on astronomy-related breaking news. Martins is also quite passionate on collecting information about sundials and designing new ones.


Norway

ESO min-site: http://www.eso.org/public/norway/

Dr Andreas O. Jaunsen

University of Oslo
PO box 1080, Blindern
0316 Oslo
Norway
Tel: +47 22 85 70 22
E-mail: eson-norway@eso.org

Andreas has a PhD in astronomy (gravitational lensing) from the University of Oslo in 2000. He was Junior Astronomer at the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands, from 1995 to 1996, and Operations staff astronomer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile from 2000 to 2005. Andreas worked as a post-doctoral researcher (mainly on gamma-ray bursts) at the University of Oslo from 2005 to 2008, and was a full-time national coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) from 2008 to 2009.
Read Andreas’s personal web page.

 

Jan-Erik Ovaldsen

E-mail: eson-norway@eso.org

Jan-Erik holds a Master of Science in astronomy (photometry and gravitational lensing) from the University of Oslo, 2002. He then did research at PhD level on gamma-ray bursts and their host galaxies. Author of several popular astronomy books published in Norway and other Nordic countries, Jan-Erik also has experience with public outreach related to astronomy, being involved in the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Read Jan-Erik’s articles on the Astronomy blog.
Jan-Erik on Twitter.


Poland

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/poland/

Krzysztof Czart

Urania – Postępy Astronomii
Centrum Astronomii UMK
ul. Gagarina 11
87-100 Toruń
Poland
Tel: +48 513 733 282
Email: eson-poland@eso.org

Krzysztof Czart is an astronomer and science journalist. He graduated in astronomy at the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń, the city where Nicolas Copernicus was born. His main scientific interests are stellar spectroscopy, variable stars, massive stars, Wolf–Rayet stars and OB associations. He is a member of the Polish Astronomical Society and the author of hundreds of news articles about astronomy, astronautics and space research on internet portals, as well as many popular articles about astronomy in printed magazines. He created the English–Polish and Polish–English Astronomical Dictionary used by many internet dictionaries (including Onet.pl) as well as the Astronomical Dictionary of the Polish Astronomical Society. He has also worked for television, preparing data and texts about astronomy that were broadcasted every day by the TVN Meteo channel.

He created Astronomia.pl — the Polish Astronomy Portal, which was the biggest and the most popular astronomical portal in Poland. He was Editor in Chief of the portal since its launch in 2001 to 2011. Krzysztof was also editor of the Kosmos – Tajemnice Wszechświata astronomy magazine. He collaborates with the science section of the Polish Press Agency and is editor of Urania – Postępy Astronomii astronomy magazine.

 

While his main specialisation is communicating astronomy through written text and over the internet, he has taken part in many other activities, including leading guided tours at an astronomical observatory, giving lectures for school students and amateur astronomers, participating in science festivals and bringing exciting international projects in education and the communication of astronomy to Poland.

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Romania

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/romania/

Romanian ESON member

Valentin Grigore

Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM)
Calea Domneasca 214, bl.48, sc.A, ap.6
Targoviste RO-130016, Dambovita
Romania
Tel: +40 722 829034
Email: eson-romania@eso.org

Valentin Grigore is the founder President of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM), the national society of astronomy in Romania. He started his activity in astronomy in 1982 (14 years old) as autodidact. He is the founder of the Romanian meteor school and of the annual national astronomical camp and summer astronomical school "Perseide" (first edition in 1993), the most important astronomical event in Romania. Also, in 2000 he founded the biennial Astrophotography National Contest and International Exhibition. Since 1992 he is member of the International Meteor Organization (IMO). Currently, he is the National Coordinator in Romania of the Astronomers Without Borders, member of the International Dark-Sky Association and member in the Committee of Initiative of EURONEAR project (European Near Earth Asteroids Research). In the last 20 years, Valentin leaded hundreds of educational and observational astronomical projects in Romania and abroad. In Sep 2000 he led the organization of the International Meteor Conference – IMC 2000 (Pucioasa, Romania), and in 2011 he led the organization of the 30th edition of the International Meteor Conference – IMC 2011 (Sibiu, Romania). He is an active militant for the protection of the dark-sky. Since 2008 he is the producer of "Noi si Cerul" (Us and the Sky) astronomical TV show in Romania.

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Russia

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/russia/

Russian ESON member

Dr. Kirill Maslennikov

The Central (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory of Russian Academy of Sciences
65, Pulkovskoye shosse
196140 Pulkovo, St.-Petersburg,
Russia
Tel.: +7-911-212-2130
Email: eson-russia@eso.org

Kirill studied astrophysics in St.-Petersburg (at that time, Leningrad) University. His Cand.Sci. thesis (this degree in Russia is similar to PhD) presented in 1984 in Space Research Institute, Moscow, considered Hartmann-type wavefront sensing for adaptive optics (studies parallel to those later succeeded in the famous ESO adaptive optics concept). In the 80-ies, Kirill was in charge of the astronomical outpost of Pulkovo Observatory at Shorbulak in the Pamirs, the site at 4300 m above the sea level with perfect conditions for observations and exceptionally dry atmosphere (again, similar in this way to Chajnantor). Later, using, primarily, the largest Russian 6-m BTA Telescope at the Northern Caucasus, has been working on different subjects of optical photometry and photopolarimetry, for example, Kuiper Belt asteroids and BL Lac objects. At Pulkovo, Kirill carries out regular observations of wide binaries with the Large 26-inch Refractor. He is responsible for handling international relations of the Observatory and involved in Public Outreach activities, both for groups of foreign students and local kids fascinated with astronomy.

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Serbia

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/serbia/

Serbian ESON member

Ivana Horvat

Astronomical Society Novi Sad
Petrovaradin
Serbia
Tel.: +381 64 287 27 36
Email: eson-serbia@eso.org

Ivana graduated from the Faculty of Sciences in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2008 where she earned BSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Since then, she is actively engaged in various science communication projects. She attended the National FameLab Competition in 2008 and she won the third place in the finals. Ivana was a member of the Beautiful Science Network working group gathered in order to write the International Declaration on science communication (Istanbul, 2008). In the summer of 2009 Ivana spent a couple of months at ESO as a science communication intern. During 2011 and 2012 she had been working as one of the scriptwriters and hosts of the science TV show Café Scientifique which was produced by British Council Serbia and Serbian Broadcasting Corporation. TV show was followed by the science blog hosted by the British Council Serbia website. Ivana has filmed several documentaries for the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade. She works as a high school physics teacher in Novi Sad, freelance science journalist and science communication coach. Ivana is a member of the Astronomical Society Novi Sad since 2008.


Turkey

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/turkey/

Arif Solmaz

University of Cag
Dept. of Math/CS, Space and Astronomy Office
Yenice, Tarsus/Mersin
Turkey
Tel.: +90 538 614 29 38
Email: eson-turkey@eso.org

Arif is a professional astronomer and a communication scientist, working primarily on improving our understanding of exoplanets. He has been working for the Astrophysics Research Centre & Ulupınar Observatory of the University of Canakkale in Turkey for seven years. Arif is now at another university and research centre — the University of Cag (Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Sciences) and Space and Astronomy Office (SAO) — which is located in southern Turkey. He graduated from the physics department in 2008 and from space sciences and technologies in 2010. His thesis was titled “A Status Report and Planning of Future for Exoplanet Observations”. Arif is interested in this topic and its impact on society. Thanks to his new position at SAO, he will be able to work as a Science Communicator, Coordinator and Program Director for the public in general, doing astronomical observations and presenting some recent planetarium shows for visitors.
Read Arif’s web page:
Arif on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.


Ukraine

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/ukraine/

Oleg Maliy

NGO Zaporozhye Astronomical Club Altair
8 Marta St. 64-70
Zaporozhye
69068
Ukraine
Tel: +380 67 1371070
E-mail: eson-ukraine@eso.org

Oleg has been an amateur astronomer since he was eight years old. He studied astronomy at Kharkov State University. In 2004 he organised the NGO Zaporozhye Astronomical Club Altair and is its manager. He works as an engineer in the field of industrial gas meters and calculators.

 


United States

ESO mini-site: http://www.eso.org/public/usa/

Dr. Paola Rebusco

ESO Science Outreach Network
MIT - Experimental Study Group
Massachusetts Avenue 77
Bldg 24-608
Cambridge, MA 02139
USA
Tel: +1-617-324-7773
Email: eson-usa@eso.org

Paola is currently working as a research scientist and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT in Cambridge, MA). She was born in Italy, near Lake Garda. She earned her master's degree in theoretical physics from the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2003. She received her PhD in astronomy from the Ludwig Maximillian University (Munich, Germany) and the International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics in 2007. She then crossed the Atlantic, along with her dog Balù, and spent three years as a Pappalardo Postdoctoral fellow in Physics at MIT. Dr Rebusco is not only interested in theoretical astrophysics and teaching, but also in how specialised knowledge is made publicly accessible. During the last six months of her PhD she was a science-writing intern at ESO. Today, apart from being the ESON representative in the United States, Paola comments on scientific news for the Italian radio programme Moebius, and contributes to the Italian science magazine Newton. Paola loves travelling (especially to warm places), sailing, writing and reading, cooking and eating, and playing basketball with her husband. Although she is not an observer, she travels to Chile to visit her friends and ESO’s observatories whenever she can.
Read Paola’s webpages here and here.