Topics covered in this research area

  • Detection and characterisation of extrasolar planets
  • Observational methods to study the earliest stages of star formation
  • The circumstellar environment of high and low mass stars
  • Star formation at the Galactic Centre

Thesis topics offered on Planets and Star Formation

Scientific Staff in Garching working on Planet and Star Formation


Name Interests

Jean-Philippe Berger
Scientific interests:
  • Star and planet formation
  • Accretion disks
  • Interacting binaries
  • Instrumentation research and technology

Mark Casali
Scientific interests:
  • Star formation and young stellar evolution
  • Magnetic fields on young stars
  • Infrared instrumentation

Olivier Hainaut
Scientific interests:
  • Comets, asteroids, trans-neptunian objects
  • Surface properties and evolution of icy bodies
  • Cometary activity at large heliocentric distances
  • Ultra-deep imaging
Personal home page

Christian Hummel
Scientific interests:
  • Optical and near-IR interferometry
  • Double stars and stellar evolution
  • Star formation
Personal home page

Liz Humphreys
Scientific interests:
  • Central Parsecs of AGN
  • High-Mass Star Formation
  • Evolved Star Mass Loss
  • Millimetre and Submillimetre Astronomy

Gaitee Hussain
Scientific interests:
  • Magnetic activity in cool stars and stellar clusters
  • Optical, NIR and X-ray spectroscopy of stars and circumstellar environments
  • T Tauri and pre-main sequence stars
  • Stellar surface imaging
Personal home page

Rob Ivision
Scientific interests:
  • Evolution of the ISM in galaxies
  • Foramtion of galaxies in the distant Universe
  • Dust Formation
  • Masers
  • Proto-planetary disks
  • Exoplanets
Personal home page

Hans-Ulrich Käufl
Scientific interests:
  • Stellar evolution (post main sequence, RGB, AGB, post-AGB)
  • Star formation
  • Planetary and cometary atmospheres
  • Very high resolution imaging and interferometry

Gaspare Lo Curto
Scientific interests:
  • Isolated neutron stars
  • Planet formation
  • Stars in the solar neighborhood
  • High resolution spectroscopy, precise radial velocity measurements

Luca Pasquini
Scientific interests:
  • Precision Spectroscopy, direct measurement of the cosmic acceleration
  • Light Element Abundances (Li and Be): Primordial Nucleosynthesis,
    Galactic Enrichment, Stellar Mixing
  • Globular Clusters: light elements anti-correlations
  • Chemical Abundance of stars in the local group, in clusters and in the field
  • Exo-Planets, planets around evolved stars

Monika Petr-Gotzens
Scientific interests:
  • Star formation
  • TTauri stars, Pre-main sequence binaries
  • Young stellar clusters

Suzanne Ramsay
Scientific interests:
  • starf ormation in this and nearby galaxies
  • cirumstellar matter (disks, outflows)
  • near-infrared spectroscopy (particularly of H2)

Ralf Siebenmorgen
Scientific interests:
  • Physics of interstellar dust
  • IR/mm continuum: imaging
  • Formation of stars/galaxies
Personal home page

Michael Sterzik
Scientific interests:
  • Low mass star formation
  • Observations of brown dwarfs and planets
  • Bioastronomy

Leonardo Testi
Scientific interests:
  • High mass star formation
  • Young (proto-)stellar clusters
  • Young brown dwarfs
  • Circumstellar disks and their evolution

Mario van den Ancker
Scientific interests:
  • Star Formation
  • Protoplanetary Disks
  • Infrared Spectroscopy
Personal home page


Name Interests

Neale Gibson
Scientific interests:
  • Transiting exoplanets; detection and characterisation
  • Exoplanet atmospheres (via transmission and emission spectroscopy)
  • Time series analysis using advanced Bayesian methods

Adam Ginsburg
Scientific interests:
  • High mass star and cluster formation
  • Turbulence in molecular clouds
  • Millimeter and centimeter observations, in particular large-area & Galactic Plane surveys
  • Data analysis tools & python, especially astropy

Jason Grunhut
Scientific interests:
  • Incidence and structure of magnetic fields of massive stars
  • Magnetism and pulsations of early type stars
  • Stellar surface and circumstellar imaging
  • High-resolution, optical spectropolarimetry of stars and their circumstellar environment

Katharina Immer

Scientific interests:

  • High-mass star formation
  • Chemistry of molecular clouds
  • Spiral Structure and Kinematics of the Milky Way via trigonometric parallax observations
  • Star formation in the Central Molecular Zone

Personal home page

Izaskun Jimenez-Serra

Marie-Currie Fellow

Scientific interests:

  • Low-Mass and High-Mass Star Formation
  • Chemistry of the ISM
  • Stellar Winds and Jets
  • Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy

Melissa McClure
Scientific interests:
  • Evolution of protoplanetary disks
  • Exoplanet population synthesis from disk dust/ gas composition
  • ISM/ molecular cloud chemistry

Ruud Visser
Scientific interests:
  • low-mass star formation
  • protostellar energetics and dynamics
  • chemical evolution from pre-stellar cores to circumstellar disks
  • planetary atmospheres

Ke Wang
Scientific interests:
  • Infrared dark clouds
  • Initial conditions of high-mass star formation
  • mm/submm/cm interferometry
  • Far-IR spectroscopy and photometry with Herschel

Siyi Xu

Scientific interests:

  • Planetary systems
  • White Dwarfs
  • Circumstellar disk
  • Chemical compositions

Personal home page


Name Interests

Julian Alvarado Gómez
Scientific interests:
  • Solar/Stellar Magnetic Fields and Activity
  • Plasma Astrophysics
  • High Resolution Spectropolarimetry

Gergely Csépány
Scientific interests:
  • Young stellar systems observed with high angular resolution
  • Young T Tauri binary stars

Roxana-Adela Chira
Scientific interests:
  • Early stages of star formation
  • Molecular clouds
  • Radiative transfer
  • Interstellar medium

Anna Mc Leod
Scientific interests:
  • Star Formation
  • Stellar Populations

Marco Tazzari
Scientific interests:
  • Protoplanetary discs: structure and dynamics
  • Gas-dust interaction in protoplanetary discs
  • Planet formation

Fei Yan
Scientific interests:
  • Planetary atmosphere
  • Exo-planet

Sarolta Zahorecz
Scientific interests:
  • Initial conditions of star formation
  • Properties of young stellar objects
  • Infrared and radio observations