ESO Scientific Staff in Santiago/Chile

GAR = Garching; LS = La Silla; PAO = Paranal; SCV = Science Vitacura

See also the ESO Garching Staff and Research page for scientific staff in Garching.
Also available is a List of the Astronomers and Astronomical Institutes in Chile.

Faculty & Scientists

Joseph Anderson

Joseph Anderson is an ESO support astronomer and currently FORS2 instrument scientist. He obtained his PhD in astronomy at the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, in 2009, investigating the parent stellar populations of supernovae under the supervision of Phil James. Joseph then moved to a postdoc position at the Universidad de Chile, Chile, working with Mario Hamuy. He joined ESO at first as a fellow in 2013. Hi main research interests are the study of supernovae of different types, with a focus on investigating the progenitor and explosion characteristics of type II supernovae through analysing their observed diversity. He also spends a significant amount of time analysing supernova host galaxy and environment properties in order to constrain progenitor properties while also learning about star formation processes within galaxies.

Fuyan Bian

Scientific interests:
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
  • High Redshift Galaxies & quasars
  • Cosmic Reionization

Stephane Brillant

Stephane Brillant is an Operations Astronomer at the Paranal observatory. He received his PhD in physics from the University of Paris XI in 1999. After 2 years as a student in ESO during his PhD he came back in 1999 as a fellow and moved in 2001 to his current position in Paranal. While his PhD was more in theoretical physics, he moved to more observational study and has been working mostly on extrasolar planet using various technics including microlensing. He is now working mostly on the study of the atmosphere of extrasolar planet using in particular CRIRES to study their chemical composition.Jesús Corral-Santana is an ESO Fellow with duties in Paranal since October 2016. Jesús received his PhD in Astrophysics at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) in the Canary Islands (Spain) in 2012, working in the X-ray binaries group leaded by Jorge Casares. After his thesis, he moved to Chile as a FONDECYT Fellow at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he worked with Franz E. Bauer. His main research topic is the study of stellar-mass black holes in X-ray binaries and, in particular, those found in X-ray transients. One of his main goals is to dynamically confirm the presence of black holes (using optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy) in order to increase the currently scarce sample of black hole transients, which is essential to understand several aspects of physics and astrophysics such as, for instance, the final stages of stellar evolution, supernovae explosions and the formation of compact objects. In addition, he is a member of the VVV and EGAPS (IPHAS, UVEX and VPHAS+) surveys performed, among others, with the VISTA and VST telescopes.

Scientific interests:

  • X-ray binaries in optical and infrared wavelengths
  • Stellar-mass black holes in transient systems
  • Interacting binaries, accretion disks and black holes in general
  • Stellar structure and evolution

Jesus M. Corral-Santana

Jesús Corral-Santana received his PhD in Astrophysics at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) in the Canary Islands (Spain) in 2012, working in the X-ray binaries group leaded by Jorge Casares. After his thesis, he moved to Chile as a FONDECYT Fellow at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he worked with Franz E. Bauer. His main research topic is the study of stellar-mass black holes in X-ray binaries and, in particular, those found in X-ray transients. One of his main goals is to dynamically confirm the presence of black holes (using optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy) in order to increase the currently scarce sample of black hole transients, which is essential to understand several aspects of physics and astrophysics such as, for instance, the final stages of stellar evolution, supernovae explosions and the formation of compact objects. In addition, he is a member of the VVV and EGAPS (IPHAS, UVEX and VPHAS+) surveys performed, among others, with the VISTA and VST telescopes.

Scientific interests:

  • X-ray binaries in optical and infrared wavelengths
  • Stellar-mass black holes in transient systems
  • Interacting binaries, accretion disks and black holes in general
  • Stellar structure  and evolution

Itziar de Gregorio-Monsalvo

Itziar de Gregorio-Monsalvo is the Head of the Office for Science in Chile from November 2018. Before she was the Head of the ALMA Program Management group.  She did her PhD in the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology,  using the NASA Deep Space Network antennas to set up Radio Astronomy observations and perform star formation studies at centimeter wavelengths.  She joined ESO in 2006 as an ESO ALMA fellow with duties at the APEX telescope,  the Atacama Test Facility (in Socorro, New Mexico), and the Operations Support Facilities near San Pedro de Atacama.  She became an ESO Faculty member in 2010, working as an ALMA Science Operations Astronomer. 

Her main research activities are focused in star and planetary formation, in particular: 

  • Star, planets, and brown dwarfs formation
  • Protoplanetary disks formation and evolution
  • Jets and molecular outflows
  • Astrophysical masers
  • Centimeter, Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy: Interferometry and Single Dish techniques

Robert de Rosa

Scientific Interests:

  • Extrasolar planets
  • High-contrast imanging
  • Adaptative Optics

Willem-Jan De Wit


Willem-Jan de Wit joined ESO in 2010. He received his PhD from Utrecht University in 2001.

Scientific interests:

  • Star formation and young stellar clusters
  • Long baseline optical interferometry
  • Circumstellar material and stellar variability


Bill Dent

Bill Dent joined ESO in 2008 as a System Astronomer for ALMA. He obtained his PhD from the University of Kent, then worked at NASA MSFC, before moving to the JCMT as a support astronomer. He then alternated between Hawaii and UKATC Edinburgh, working mostly on support of JCMT observers and heterodyne instrumentation. Before moving to ALMA, he worked at the UKATC on studies for new IR & sub-mm instrumentation. His main research interests are in star & planet formation, particularly debris disks, protoplanetary disks and IR/submm spectroscopy.

Pedro Figueira

Pedro Figueira is an ESO Staff Astronomer since February 2018. His research focuses on Extrasolar planet detection and characterization, and on the development of dedicated instrumentation for this purpose. He obtained his Ph.D. from University of Geneva in 2010, under the supervision of Michel Mayor and Francesco Pepe. Specializing first on near infra-red spectroscopy and on precise radial velocity measurements in the nIR, Pedro has been working on the characterization of both the stellar signals and the minute signatures of low-mass planets. After having worked at Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto and Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, in Portugal, Pedro comes to ESO to work with instruments he helped to develop, such as ESPRESSO or NIRPS. He likes Lindy Hop and craft beer.

Boris Haeussler

Boris Häußler (Haeussler) is an ESO staff astronomer at Paranal as of November 2015. Born in Karlsruhe, he received his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Heidelberg in Germany (PhD thesis at MPIA). He then moved to Nottingham, UK for 2 consecutive 2 postdoc positions and, after another postdoc in Oxford (while also being associated with Hertfordshire), he moved to ESO/Santiago to work at Paranal Observatory.
His main interest lies in galaxy formation and evolution, especially how galaxies transform from the blue cloud of star-forming (disk-dominated) galaxies into the red & spheroid-dominated galaxies that populate the red sequence today. He is a member of several large collaborations (CANDELS, GAMA, VIDEO) to explore this transformation over a large fraction of cosmic time.
He is also one of the authors and the current keeper of the public GALAPAGOS code, which runs galaxy profile fitting on a large galaxy sample automatically.
This code uses GalfitM, an extended Galfit version that uses multiple images at different wavelengths simultaneously in order to improve the quality of the fits and produce more stable results, allowing the extension of galaxy samples to fainter magnitudes. GALAPAGOS/GalfitM also enable more accurate bulge-disk-decompositions, and the derivation of colour-magnitude or magnitude-size-relations for the individual galaxy components.

His research interests are:

  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • Galaxy transformation from blue, star-forming disks to red, "dead" ellipticals
  • Build-up of the red sequence
  • Bulge/Disc decomposition of galaxies both at low and high redshift (redshift, not km/s)
  • Evolution of galaxies

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Xavier Haubois

Xavier Haubois is the VLTI System Scientist at Paranal Observatory since December 2016. Xavier was previously a Fellow since October 2014. He got his PhD in 2009 at Observatoire de Paris that was focused on infrared interferometric imaging of evolved stars and the design phase of GRAVITY. After his thesis, he obtained a post-doctoral contract at the University of São Paulo (IAG) to work on the modelling of circumstellar environments and at the University of Sydney to deepen his skills in optical interferometry. His research focuses on mass-loss processes in evolved stars observed at high angular resolution.

His research interests are:

  • Evolved stars
  • The Galactic Center
  • Be stars
  • Optical Interferometry and high angular resolution imaging
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution

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Pascale Hibon

Scientific Interests:
  • High redshift galaxies
  • Galaxy evolution & formation
  • Galaxy clusters

Elizabeth Humphreys

Elizabeth Humphreys is the Head of the Department of Science Operations (DSO) at the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile.

Scientific Interests:

  • Central Parsecs of AGN
  • High-Mass Star Formation
  • Evolved Star Mass Loss
  • Millimetre and Submillimetre Astronomy
  • Cosmology and the Early Universe

Matias Jones

Scientific Interests:

  • Extrasolar planets, precision radial velocities
  • Planetary systems orbiting evolved stars
  • Transiting systems and detection of companion-induced astrometric signals

Andreas Kaufer

Andreas Kaufer is the Director of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. He received his degree in Physics from Heidelberg University in 1993. In 1996 he graduated with a PhD in Astronomy from the same university. He became ESO staff member in 1999 and joined the VLT Science Operations department. He has been the Paranal instrument scientists of UVES and later FLAMES. In 2003 he became the instrumentation scientist of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. His research activities focus on the fields of stellar astrophysics, galaxy evolution, and state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation.

Thomas Klein
(APEX - Scientist)

Thomas Klein is the Deputy Director of La Silla Paranal Observatory. In 1996 he received his degree in Physics from the University of Bonn where he also graduated with a PhD in Astronomy in 1999. Since then he was a staff scientist at the Max-Planck Institut fuer Radioastronomie, where he focused his interests on the development of THz instrumentation for astronomy and accumulated a strong background on submillimeter observing techniques at various telescopes. In 2000 he started his involvement in the HERSCHEL/HIFI project as the lead system engineer for the HIFI local oscillator system. Until the end of the HIFI mission, in April 2013, he supported HIFI’s Instrument control center. In 2007 he became the group leader of the MPIfR’s heterodyne submillimeter technology group, developing the institute’s PI instrumentation for APEX and SOFIA. Since 2008, he was a frequent guest scientist at APEX, accompanying the PI instruments of the MPIfR, before he joined ESO and APEX in September 2013.            

Ruediger Kneissl

Rüdiger Kneissl joined ESO in 2009 as Science Operations Astronomer in the ALMA project. He received his PhD from the University of Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in 1997. During appointments at the University of Cambridge, UC Berkeley and MPI for Radio Astronomy in Bonn he worked with various radio interferometers and the APEX telescope. He has also been involved in the Planck satellite mission for many years. His main scientific interest is in

  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Galaxy Clusters via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect
  • High-Redshift Dusty Galaxies
  • Cosmology and the Early Universe

Heidi Korhonen

Heidi Korhonen is an ESO staff astronomer since January 2020. She obtained her PhD from University of Oulu, after having done half of her PhD work as a student support astronomer at the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma. Since obtaining her PhD, she has worked in Germany, Denmark and Finland. She has also been a fellow in ESO Garching doing support work at Paranal observatory as a UT2 night astronomer. Currently she is mostly supporting VLTI, especially GRAVITY.

Her main research interests are:

  • stellar magnetism across the HR diagram
  • resolving stellar surface structures
  • effect of stellar magnetic activity on exoplanets
  • exoplanet detection
  • astronomical instrumentation

Cédric Ledoux

Cédric Ledoux is a Faculty astronomer supporting the science operations of the Very Large Telescope. He obtained his PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Lyon I in 1999. His research includes the properties and evolution of galaxies revealed by high-redshift QSO absorption-line systems, the study of metals, dust, and molecules, in the interstellar medium of galaxies, and the distribution and physical properties of the gas in and around the host galaxies of Gamma-Ray Bursts. He is involved in the operations of the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) and the Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO).

His main research interests are:

  • Evolution of Galaxies and the ISM; Cosmology and the Early Universe

Stéphane Leon

Stéphane Leon Tanne is System Astronomer at ALMA. He received his PhD from the University Paris 7 in 1998. His main interests are the effects of the environment on stellar systems. He studied the tidal tails in globular clusters using wide field telescopes and numerical simulations. While he was working at IRAM (Spain) he studied the dynamics of the molecular gas in galaxies using single-dish and interferometer telescopes. Since his post-docs at ASIAA (Taiwan) and at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Spain) he works actively on the ISM content of radio galaxies, barred and isolated galaxies.

Gaspare Lo Curto


Gianni Marconi

Gianni Marconi is Commissioning Scientist of the ALMA Observatory (Array Group lead). He received his degree (cum Laude) in Astronomy from Bologna University in 1987. In 1991 he graduated with a PhD in Astronomy from the same university. From 1994 to 2005 he held an assistant professorship and was member of the Director Board at the Observatory of Rome.  In 1999 he became ESO staff member and joined the VLT Science Operations department. He has been the Paranal instrument scientists of VIMOS between 2002 and 2005. From 2006 to 2010 he has been the Instrumentation Operation Teams Coordinator of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. From 2010 he has been seconded to the JAO office for the commissioning of ALMA. Starting in June 2010 has been appointed as Commissioning Scientist for the European Alma Support Center (EASC) and in charge of the integration and verification of the development projects for ESO in ALMA. His main research activities focus on the fields of stellar astrophysics, star formation history and chemical evolution of galaxies, and state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and telescopes.

Scientific interests:

  • Globular Clusters
  • Open Clusters
  • Chemical Abundances of stars in the Local Group
  • Star Formation and Chemical Evolution History of Dwarf Galaxies in the Local Group
  • X-rays Binaries
  • Neutron Stars

Stellar populations; Evolution of Galaxies and ISM

Christophe Martayan

Christophe Martayan joined ESO in 2009 as Paranal support astronomer and will be FLAMES instrument scientist. He received his PhD in Physics-astrophysics from Paris XI University and Meudon Observatory, France in 2005. By after he was employed at the ESO-Garching, the Paris Observatory, and  the Royal Observatory of Belgium. He worked as manager of modules for the scientific preparation of the GAIA space mission, and on the analysis of million of spectra taken with the ESO-WFI in its slitless mode. His current research activities concern the stellar evolution of massive and emission-line stars (O, B, Be, LBV, GRB) in different environments of metallicity (Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds, etc). He is also involved in the GAIA space mission about emission-line stars and in the scientific preparation of a multi-object spectrograph for the E-ELT.

Sergio Martin
(JAO/SCV - Scientist)

Scientific Interests:
  • Evolution of active galaxies
  • Molecular spectroscopy of galactic nuclei
  • The Galactic Center 

Gautier Mathys

Gautier Mathys is  the Science Advisor to the ESO Representative in Chile, in the Office of the Director General. He obtained his PhD in Physics in 1983, and his Habilitation in 1990, both at the University of Liège. After 8 years in Switzerland (first at the ETH in Zurich, then at the Geneva Observatory), he moved to ESO-Chile in 1991, where he worked as support astronomer at the La Silla Observatory and, as of 1998, at the Paranal Observatory; in particular he was Head of Science Operations from 1999 to early 2006. From 2006 to 2011, he was Head of ESO's  Observing Programmes Office, in charge of the support of the observing proposal selection process. From 2011 to 2018, he exerted a similar responsibility at ALMA, as Lead Astronomer of the Proposal Handling Team. His main research interests are stellar magnetic fields, pulsation and rotation, with particular emphasis on the chemically peculiar A- and B-type stars.

Andrea Mehner


Scientific interests:

  • Late stages of massive star evolution
  • Variable massive stars
  • Supernova impostors and progenitors
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution

Jorge Melnick

Jorge Melnick was the VLT Programme Scientist.  His research interests include violent star formation, galactic and extragalactic starbursts and the evolution of  massive stars. 
He is now retired as astronomer emeritus at ESO.

Hugo Messias

Hugo Messias is an Astronomer at ALMA’s Department of Science Operations since January 2020. He obtained his PhD in 2011 at the Universidade de Lisboa, in Portugal. He went on to Universidad de Concepción, in Chile, as an ALMA-CONICyT postdoc. He was then a FCT Fellow at Institute of Astrophysics and Space Science (IA, Portugal) since 2014, where he was also the Lead Scientist of the Portuguese ALMA Centre of Expertise. That led to his moving back to Chile as an ALMA Fellow from 2016 and 2019. After a short period at IA at the end of 2019, he was back again to ALMA as a DSO Astronomer. His scientific interests are mostly related to extra-galactic astronomy: galaxy and super-massive black-hole (co-)evolution; gas content and dynamics in galaxies; galaxy growth mechanisms; IR-selected AGN; distant (sub-)millimeter/radio-selected galaxies.

Steffen Mieske

Steffen Mieske is the Head of Science Operations at Paranal. He obtained his PhD in astronomy in 2005 from Bonn University. Between 2000 and 2004 he spent about 3 years in Chile at PUC, pursueing research for his Master's and PhD theses. In 2005 he joined ESO as a fellow in Garching and moved to ESO Chile in August 2008 as Staff Astronomer. Steffen has acted as instrument scientist of OmegaCAM and VIMOS, and was Deputy Head of Science Operations between 2014 and 2015 before moving to his current position in July 2015. His scientific interests comprise the high-mass end of the globular cluster population and ultra-compact dwarf galaxies (UCDs), and generally the internal dynamics of compact stellar systems. Recently he has focused in particular on the search for super-massive black holes in UCDs. Steffen is also interested in ensemble properties of dwarf galaxies, such as their scaling relations, luminosity function, internal kinematics and stellar populations. During his PhD time, he studied the shape of the Hubble flow in the "Great Attractor" region.

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Francisco Montenegro
(APEX/SCV - Scientist)

Francisco M. Montenegro Montes is the Head of Science Operations at the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX). He started his career in Tenerife (Spain) at the Universidad de La Laguna (ULL) and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) where he was involved in the preparation of mid/far-IR surveys with Spitzer and Herschel (SWIRE). He obtained his Ph.D. working at the Istituto di Radioastronomia in Bologna (Italy) on the study of the radio properties of Broad Absorption-Line Quasars (BAL QSOs) and the characterization of synchrotron spectra and polarization properties of AGNs. In 2009 Francisco joined ESO and the Science Operations team at APEX where he served as a support astronomer for 6 years. In 2015 Francisco became the leader of the group, which currently is composed of 5 operations astronomers, 2 observing specialists and 3 telescope operators.


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Lars-Åke Nyman

Lars-Åke Nyman received his Ph.D. in 1985 at Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden. In 1989 he joined ESO to be in charge of operations of the SEST (Swedish-ESO Submm Telescope) on La Silla. From 2002 he participated in the startup of APEX and in 2003 he became its first Station Manager. From 1995 to 2000 he was involved in the site testing for the precursors to ALMA, and from 2000 responsible for the European part of the ALMA site characterization. He joined the ALMA project in July 2007 as Head of Science Operations during construction and first years of full operations. In 2018 he returned to APEX as Station Manager during the upgrades of the telescope, instrumentation and infrastructure, and stayed until May 2020 when he retired.

Scientific interests:

  • Circumstellar envelopes around evolved stars
  • Star formation
  • The distribution of molecular gas and star forming regions in the Milky Way
  • Millimeter and submillimeter astronomy and techniques

Claudia Paladini

Claudia Paladini is Operations Staff astronomer at the Paranal Observatory.
She obtained her PhD in 2011 at the University of Vienna (Austria) with a thesis on carbon-rich evolved stars using spectroscopy, interferometry, and model atmospheres. After one additional year as Post-Doc in Vienna, in 2013 she moved to the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) as PRODEX fellow to work on her ESO/VLT(I) Large Program targeting evolved stars observed with MIDI, VISIR, and previously with the HERSCHEL/PACS  instrument. While in Brussels she was awarded the FRS-FNRS fellowship and continued her investigation on the atmospheres of evolved stars and mass-loss using high angular resolution techniques. Claudia joined ESO in August 2017, she supports observations with the VLTI, and in particular PIONIER and MATISSE instruments.

Scientific Interests:

  • Evolved Stars
  • Stellar Atmospheres
  • Mass Loss, Dust Formation
  • Binaries
  • High angular resolution techniques, imaging, spectroscopy
  • Image Reconstruction

Rodrigo Parra
(APEX/SCV - Scientist)

Rodrigo Parra is a staff astronomer at the APEX project. He obtained an Electrical Engineering Degree at Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria and a MSc in Microwave Digital Communications Systems at Chalmers University. Subsequently, he received a PhD in Radio Astronomy from the Onsala Space Observatory. He has a strong background in both single dish and interferometric observational astronomy at cm/mm/submm wavelengths. He is expert in holographic techniques (used to assess and maintain the APEX main dish surface accuracy) and development and implementation of telescope pointing models.
He is interested in the study of possible evolutionary connections between AGN and starburst activity. He also collaborates in several research projects whose topics include interstellar masers, dense molecular gas in star-forming regions and theoretical models of propagation of radiation in clumpy media.

Scientific interests:

  • AGN/Starburst Activity
  • Interferometry
  • Type II Supernovae
  • Radiative Transfer Models
  • Evolution of Galaxies and the ISM

Juan-Pablo Pérez-Beaupuits
(APEX - Scientist)

Juan-Pablo Pérez-Beaupuits is an APEX Staff Astronomer since August 2015. He obtained an Electrical Engineering Degree at Universidad de Chile and a MSc in Space Science and Radio Astronomy at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Subsequently, he received his PhD from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, in 2010, working on the chemical fingerprints of star-forming regions and active galaxies He is a former Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany, and subsequent staff scientist at the same MPIfR before joining ESO/APEX. Besides his interest in the evolutionary connections and feedback effects between AGN and starburst activity (using mm and sub-mm observations and theoretical/MHD models), he is also deeply interested in studying the ambient conditions of HII and massive star-forming regions with multi-wavelength observations. He actively performs galactic and extragalactic Terahertz observations using the SOFIA/GREAT airborne observatory in close collaboration with the MPIfR and the German Space Agency. He also collaborates in several research projects including the chemical effects of supernovae in their surrounding gas; shocks, PDR and XDR models, MHD simulations and 3D radiative transfer models of an AGN torus.

Scientific interests:

  • AGN/Seyfert galaxies
  • HII/star-forming regions
  • PDR/XDR and 3D radiative transfer models

Emanuela Pompei

Emanuela Pompei is working as FORS and NACO instrument scientist at the Paranal La Silla Observatory. She obtained her PhD from University of Trieste in Italy in 1999 and joined ESO the same year. She has worked both on La Silla and on Paranal as Boller&Chivens, DFOSC, FEROS, EMMI- NTT, MUSE and HAWK-I instrument scientist,  WFI,  EFOSC2 , KMOS, SINFONI support astronomer.
Her research interests center on the dynamics and chemical evolution of galaxies, on compact groups and clusters of galaxies, as probes of the formation and evolution of large scale structures.
She is a member of the XXL and VANDELS consortia.

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Thomas Rivinius

Thomas Rivinius has studied at the University of Heidelberg, where he got his PhD in 1998. After three years of ESO fellowship in Garching he returned to Heidelberg to become "Privatdozent". Since 2005 he's back at ESO, this time in Chile as science operations support astronomer on Paranal at the VLTI. Currently, he's the intrument scientist for MIDI. His research focusses on hot stars and their circumstellar environments, covering stellar pulsation, hot star winds, magnetic O and B-type stars, and Be stars and their disks.

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Florian Rodler

Florian Rodler is an ESO Staff Astronomer at the Paranal Observatory since September 2016. Already as kid he was fascinated by the stars and the universe; he decided to make his dream come true and studied Astronomy at the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2008, Florian obtained his PhD degree at the University of Vienna with a thesis on atmospheric properties of giant exoplanets. After his PhD he spent five years in Spain, working in Tenerife and Barcelona. In 2013, he joined the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, USA. In 2014, he was awarded the Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.
His main research interest - exoplanet atmospheres - is ultimately driven by the hunt for life on other worlds. Their atmospheres bear the key to reveal life forms, as they may produce gases that alter the atmospheric composition. With the upcoming technology of the extremely large telescopes, we astronomers will finally be able to answer one of the most fundamental questions: Are we alone in the universe?
Florian is currently working on projects that are aiming to refine the observational techniques for inspecting exoplanet atmospheres. He is an expert on spectroscopy in the visual and near-infrared.

His work interests are:

  • Exoplanet Atmospheres
  • Astrobiology
  • Pulsating Stars
  • Public Outreach

Eleonora Sani

Eleonora Sani joined ESO as a Staff Astronomer in March 2015. In 2009 Eleonora obtained her PhD degree at the University of Firenze, Italy, with a thesis on the connection and energetic balance between active galactic nuclei (AGN) and star formation in active galaxies both in the local Universe and at high redshift. For this purposes she adopted a multiwavelenght approach, spanning from the X-rays to the sub-mm frequencies, and developed new diagnostic diagrams. Part of this work was developed at the Max Planck Institute fuer Extraterrestrische Phisik in Munich, Germany, institute that she visited again during her first postdoc. She passed the last 3 years working for the LBT italian community as a support astronomer and executing observations at the telescope. Currently the main research interests span from the feeding/feedback mechanisms in local AGN, to the black hole-bulge scaling relations, till the evolution and role of AGNs on protoclusters.

Ivo Saviane

Ivo Saviane has been in its position as La Silla Site Manager officially since October 2013. However, his history at ESO commenced about 12 years ago. That is when he first came to ESO, to join a fellowship scheme at La Silla that lasted three years from 2001 to 2003. Right after that he became an Operations Staff Astronomer at La Silla, starting a steady career closely related with the site. Among other positions at La Silla, he has been at various times Instrument Scientist of FEROS, TIMMI2, EMMI, and EFOSC2, and he became Head of Science Operations in 2008. After moving to Paranal as an Operations Staff Astronomer, he became Instrument Scientist of FORS2 and later KMOS.
Ivo obtained his Masters degree in Astronomy from the University of Padova in 1991 with work based on colour-magnitude diagrams of three Galactic globular clusters, under the supervision of Prof. M. Capaccioli and Dr. G. Piotto. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the same university in 1997.

Luca Sbordone

Luca Sbordone joined ESO in June 2016 as a Staff Astronomer and is currently UVES instrument scientist, X-Shooter second instrument scientist and support astronomer for UT1, UT2, and UT3. He obtained his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Rome “Torn Vergata”, Italy, in 2005. Subsequently, he was part of the CIFIST Marie Curie Excellence Team at Paris Observatory, France, and held postdoc positions at Max Planck Institüt für Astrophysik, Munich, Germany, Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Germany, and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. His main research interests are the chemical analysis of cool stars in the Milky Way and Local Group (LG) galaxies, and the modeling of cool stars atmospheres. He is particularly interested in the chemical composition of LG dwarf Spheroidal galaxies and associated tidal streams, the characterization of multiple populations in globular clusters, the evolution of Lithium, and the search and characterization of extremely metal-poor stars. He is also an expert in the development and deployment of fast automatic codes for the determination of stellar atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances in large spectroscopic samples, and in the production of large libraries of synthetic stellar spectra. Observationally his main tools are intermediate- and high-resolution optical and infrared spectroscopy.

Linda Schmidtobreick

Linda Schmidtobreick is currently working on Paranal as instrument scientist for KMOS as well as support astronomer for UT1, UT3, and VLTI. In the past, she has been instrument scientist of EFOSC at La Silla and ISAAC at Paranal and coordinator of the TrainDoc and GenOps groups.
During the early years of her career she worked on interplanetary astronomy, studying comets, the Zodiacal light, and the Gegenschein. For her PhD (1997 at the Ruhruniversitaet Bochum, Germany), she studied the Galactic structure in the UV and later expanded that also to other galaxies using surface photometry and stellar population synthesis methods.  She took postdoc positions in Bochum, the MPIA in Heidelberg, and the Osservatorio Astronomico di Padua, Italy. In 2001, she started as an ESO fellow on La Silla, and in 2005 got her current staff position. By now, Linda is mainly working on compact binaries, i.e. cataclysmic variables. She is interested in the physical evolution of these systems, the nova-binary connection, and the physics of the accretion disc. In addition, she likes teaching and to work with students and spends a large fraction of her time on public outreach.

Fernando Selman

Fernando Selman's current observational research interests include studies of the nature of the stellar IMF, and the dynamics and binary content in 30 Doradus using SINFONI, and the physics of medusa galaxies studied with MUSE. On a larger scales he iinterested in the intergalactic light in clusters of galaxies. On a theoretical side he is interested in the dynamics of gravitational systems with particular attention to the phenomenon of dynamical friction. As an observatory astronomer, he has been instrument scientist for the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at La Silla, and HAWK-I, VIMOS, and OmegaCam at Paranal. He is currently the instrument scientist for MUSE at Paranal. He started his career as a physics student at the School of Engineering of Universidad de Chile subsequently obtaining his PhD at Caltech in 2004. During his strongly acausal career he was Fulbright Travel fellow, Carnegie-Chile Fellow, and Beatrice Watson Parrent postdoctoral fellow.

Personal home page

Giorgio Siringo
(JAO/SCV - Scientist)

Giorgio Siringo joined ESO in September 2009 as Operations Staff Astronomer at APEX. In June 2012 he moved to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) as Test Scientist. Since September 2013 he works at JAO as Senior RF Engineer and Front-End Technical Lead within the Engineering Services Group.
He has previously worked at the University "La Sapienza" of Rome, Italy, (Experimental Cosmology Group) and at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) of Bonn, Germany (Mm/Submmm Astronomy and Bolometer Development Group).
He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 2003 from the University of Bonn with a thesis on a polarimeter for bolometer cameras.
He has a strong background in observational astronomy at mm/submm wavelengths and also in technology design and development.
His main research interests are:

  • Cosmology and Early Universe: high-z submm galaxies, anisotropies and polarization of the Cosmic Background Radiation; mm/submm sensitive continuum detection
  • the role of the magnetic field in the star formation process, dust polarization and magnetic fields in molecular clouds; mm/submm spectro-polarimetry
  • AGN variability and polarization at mm/submm wavelengths; mm/submm interferometry and VLBI

Alain Smette

Alain Smette is a VLT operations Staff Astronomer. Following studentships at ESO-Garching and La Silla, he received his PhD from the Universite de Liege, Belgium, in 1994. He was a Post-Doc at Kapteyn Institute, Groningen, and a research associate first at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, in the STIS team, then back in Liege. His research interests mainly include the study of absorption lines in the spectra of quasars and gamma-ray burst optical afterglows, gravitational lensing and AGN. He is the instrument scientist of CRIRES.

Jonathan Smoker


Jonathan Smoker is a VLT Operations Staff Astronomer and the instrument scientist for CRIRES (previously FLAMES and UVES). He obtained his PhD from Manchester University (Jodrell Bank), England in 1993 studying low surface brightness dwarf galaxies in HI and the optical, before moving on to be a computer systems administrator at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and IoA, Cambridge. After that came a 4-year stint as a postdoc at Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland, then 3 years at ESO Chile which he left in 2005. He is now back at the VLT, working on high velocity clouds, tiny-scale structure in the interstellar medium, the Magellanic system and some work on supernovae, B-type and Post-AGB stars.

Personal home page

Thomas Szeifert

Thomas Szeifert is support astronomer at the VLT since 1999. Before he was working for the FORS instrument consortium at the observatory in Heidelberg. He has been instrument scientist at Paranal for the FORS optical multi-mode instrument and the SINFONI near-IR adaptive optics integral field spectrograph. His primary fields of research are the study of long-term wind variability of Luminous Blue Variables and other massive hot stars and stellar abundance studies in the Galaxy and local group galaxies. He obtained his PhD in 1995 at the Heidelberg University for his work on Luminous Blue Variable Stars in the Magellanic clouds, M31 and M33.

Personal home page


Massimo Tarenghi

Astronomer Emeritus

Romain Thomas

Scientific Interests:
  • High Redshift Galaxies
  • Intergalactic medium
  • SED fitting

Karl Torstensson
(APEX/SCV - Scientist)

Scientific interests:

  • High-mass star formation
  • ISM
  • Centimetre, millimetre and submillimetre Astronomy
  • Interferometry
  • VLBI

Konrad Tristram

Konrad Tristram is an operations staff astronomer at Paranal. He received his PhD in 2007 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he started his investigation of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at highest angular resolutions. After his PhD he moved to Bonn becoming an interferometry specialist. He joined ESO in April 2014 in order to support the interferometric effort at Paranal. He continues working on the dust and gas surrounding the supermassive black holes in AGN. Driven by his science, he holds a special interest in high angular resolution imaging and spectroscopy as well as in infrared & submm interferometry. Since 2015, he is the instrument scientist of VISIR.

His research interests are:

  • active galactic nuclei
  • supermassive black holes
  • nearby active galaxies
  • very high angular resolution imaging and spectroscopy
  • optical and infrared interferometry

Personal home page

Baltasar Vila Vilaro (JAO/SCV)

Baltasar Vila Vilaro, is a System Astronomer in ALMA (Array Performance Group). PhD in Astrophysics at the Universidad de La Laguna/Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 1993. Moved to Japan as a post-Doc for 6 years at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory. In 1999 moved to Arizona (USA) to work at the SMTO (Sub-millimeter Observatory) of the Steward Observatory. In 2004 moved back to Japan as Instrument Scientist for the Atacama Compact Array (part of ALMA), and since 2009 is a System Astronomer at the Joint ALMA Office in Chile.

  • Science Interests: Nuclear activity in galaxies, lenticular and elliptical galaxies, molecular and atomic gas properties along the Hubble Sequence, Milky Way structure.
  • Technical interests: mm/submm. interferometry, calibration.

Eric Villard
(JAO/SCV - Scientist)

Eric Villard is a System Astronomer on ALMA. He joined ESO in January 2010, after obtaining his PhD at Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS (near Paris) in 2008. While at Service d'Aéronomie, he also worked on the science operations of the European Venus Express mission, in particular the SPICAV instrument. His main research interest is the study of planetary atmospheres at various wavelengths. Other research interests include astrometry, the study of comets, exoplanets and galaxy evolution (bars).

  • Planetary atmospheres
  • Exoplanets
  • Planets and Star Formation


Zahed Wahhaj

Zahed Wahhaj joined ESO as a VLT astronomer in 2012, as one of the instrument scientists for the exoplanet imager, SPHERE. He is interested in the direct-imaging and characterization of exoplanets, brown dwarfs and circumstellar debris disks. Before joining ESO, he was a core team member of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign, a direct-imaging search for giant planets around 300 nearby young stars, at the University of Hawaii. He was also involved in the Cores-to-Disks Spitzer Legacy Program (2003-2006), where he worked on understanding weak-line TT stars, through the evolution of their mid-infrared (MIR) disk emission. His dissertation work was on planetary signatures in debris disks. This involved Keck high-resolution MIR imaging and Bayesian modeling of the dust disks around Beta Pictoris, HR 4796A and 49 Ceti. Zahed Wahhaj received his PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 2005.


Bin Yang

Bin Yang is an ESO staff Astronomer with duties at the VLT since December 2016. She received her PhD from the University of Hawaii in 2009, where she studied the physical properties of Solar System small bodies (e.g. asteroids and comets) using various facilities atop Mauna Kea. She joined ESO at first as a science fellow in 2013. She is interested in the formation of planetary systems, particularly the formation and evolution of our own solar system. Her other interests include Extreme Adaptive Optics, High-contrast Imaging and Astrobiology.


Michael Abdul-Masih  (PAO/SCV)

Michael Abdul-Masih is an ESO fellow with duties in Paranal since October 2020.  He obtained his PhD in 2020 from the Institute of Astronomy at KU Leuven where he focused on the spectroscopic analysis of massive overcontact binaries. 

Scientific interests:

  • ​Massive star evolution
  • Close binaries​
  • Non-spherically symmetric massive stars (rapidly rotating stars, semi-detached and contact binary systems)
  • Internal mixing processes
  • Gravitational wave progenitors
  • Optical and UV spectroscopy

Belen Alcalde   (JAO/SCV)

Belén Alcalde Pampliega is an ESO Fellow with duties at ALMA since October 2020. She obtained her PhD in 2020 at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, investigating the formation and evolution of massive optically faint galaxies in the early Universe. 

Scientific Interests:

  • High-redshift galaxies
  • Galaxy formation & evolution 
  • Deep learning and machine learning techniques

Trystyn Berg

Scientific Interests:
  • Galaxy Evolution
  • Quasar Absorption Lines
  • Chemical Evolution
Marco Berton


Marco Berton is an ESO fellow with duties in Paranal since October 2021. He received his PhD from the University of Padova in 2016, working on the class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) known as narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies. In particular, he studied the parent population of gamma-ray emitting NLS1s, and he developed an orientation-based unification model for AGN in an early evolutionary stage. After a first postdoctoral position in Padova, he moved to the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO, working at the Aalto University Metsähovi Radio observatory, where he continued his work studying the radio, optical, and X-ray properties of NLS1s. His main research interests are the life cycle of AGN and the role they play in shaping their environment, especially when they are in an early stage of their growth.

Scientific interests:

• AGN life cycle and feedback
• Narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies and their role in the unified model of AGN
• Blazars and relativistic jets

Aleksandar Cikota


Aleksandar Cikota is an ESO Fellow with duties on Paranal since October 2020. He received his PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich after studying Type Ia supernova progenitor systems at ESO in Garching, and did his first postdoc at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working with the supernova cosmology group.

His main research interests are:

  • Type Ia Supernova progenitors and supernova cosmology
  • Superluminous Supernovae and their host galaxies
  • Interstellar medium
  • Spectropolarimetry with VLT/FORS
  • Small Solar System Bodies

Personal home page

Ana Escorza (PAO/SCV)

Ana Escorza is an ESO Fellow with duties in Paranal since October 2020. Funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), she received a dual PhD in ​Astronomy from the KU Leuven and the ULB (Belgium). For her thesis, using both observations and evolutionary models, she investigated the stellar and orbital properties of barium stars, a prototypical example of post-mass transfer binary systems in the low- and intermediate-mass range. In these systems, a former Asymptotic Giant Branch star polluted its main-sequence companion with carbon and heavy metals just before becoming a cool white dwarf. Ana is particularly interested in the impact that this mass-transfer episode has on the orbital properties of these systems and on the evolution of these systems as the polluted star evolves. The broader goal of her work is using polluted stars to better understand binary interaction and evolution in systems that contain or have contained large evolved stars. Additionally, Ana is very interested in planetary nebulae and their asymmetrical morphologies, in post-AGB binaries and their discs, and in all the puzzles that concern evolved stars and their companions. She is also active in science communication both as speaker and as an event organiser and loves making astronomy accessible to all kind of audiences.

Scientific Interests:

  • Evolved stars
  • Binary systems and the impact of binarity in stellar evolution
  • Interaction and mass transfer in binary systems
  • High-resolution spectroscopy

Marie-Lou Gendron-Marsolais

Marie-Lou Gendron-Marsolais is an ESO fellow with duties at Alma since October 2018. She obtained her PhD in 2018 at Université de Montréal under the supervision of Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo. She now shares her time between her work for ALMA and the study of galaxy clusters. Her research focuses on the complex relation between supermassive black holes located at the center of galaxies and their environment.

Scientific Interests:

  • Galaxy clusters & groups
  • X-ray/Optical/Radio wavelength Astronomy
  • AGN feedback



Kevin Harrington (JAO/SCV)

Scientific Interests:
  • Understanding the build-up of stellar mass across cosmic time
  • Observations and modelling of the molecular/ionized interstellar medium of high-redshift (z >1) galaxies
  • Strongly lensed, high-redshift star-forming galaxies
  • Progenitor galaxy clusters at high-redshift
  • Disentangling the physical processes of galaxies with co-evolving AGN and star-formation activity

Johanna Hartke

Scientific Interests:

  • Galaxy Dynamics & Evolution
  • Early-type Galaxies
  • Planetary Nebulae as stellar tracers

Personal home page

E. Christian Herenz

Scientific interests:

  • High-redshift galaxies
  • Galaxy formation
  • Integral-field spectroscopy

Pei-Ying Hsieh

Pei-Ying Hsieh is an ALMA Fellow since December 2019. She obtained her PhD in 2015 in National Central University and ASIAA (Taiwan). She moved to ASIAA as a postdoctoral researcher. Her main research interests are:

  • Supermassive black hole accretion in the Galactic center
  • Structure and evolution of molecular gas inflow/outflow in galaxies
  • Sub-mm/mm interferometry.

Darshan Kakkad

Scientific Interests:

  • Galaxy evolution & AGN feedback
  • ISM studies at low & high redshift
  • Galaxies: Stellar ages & star formation history
  • IFS & sub-mm spectroscopy

Personal home page

Aaron Labdon

Scientific Interests:

Planet formation in protoplanetary disks around young stars, including FU Orionis, T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars. In particular the innermost regions of the disks, across the inner few astronomical units. I use optical interferometry, combining the VLTI and CHARA to enhance baseline and wavelength coverage in order to study the spatial and temperature structure of the inner disks and explore potential temporal variations.



Enrique Macías

Enrique Macías is an ALMA Fellow since September 2019. He obtained his MSc in Astrophysics in 2013 from the University of Granada, where he went on to earn his PhD in 2016. Enrique then moved to Boston University as a Postdoctoral Associate. His main research interests are:

  • Star and planet formation.
  • Structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks, dust grain growth, protoplanetary disk dispersal.
  • Sub-mm/mm/cm interferometry.

Michaël Marsset  (PAO/SCV)

Michaël Marsset is an ESO fellow with duties in Paranal since November 2021.  He obtained his PhD at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (France) in 2016, which included a 2-year studentship at ESO in Chile.  During his PhD and following postdocs at Queen’s University Belfast (2016-2018) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018-2021), Michaël’s research consisted in characterizing the composition of Solar System small bodies in order to investigate their past orbital evolution, determine possible genetic links between the different populations of objects, and establish their relationship to Earth's impactors (meteorites and interplanetary dust).

Chiara Mazzucchelli

Scientific Interests:

Camila Navarrete

Camila Navarrete is an ESO Fellow with duties in Paranal since May 2019. PhD in Astrophysics at the Instituto de Astrofísica - Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in 2018, with a thesis on stellar substructures and streams in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, observed from the southern Galactic hemisphere. Part of this work was developed at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. During her PhD, she was awarded with the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Chile Fellowship 2017. Her main research interests includes stellar substructures in the form of tidal tails and stellar streams to understand the Milky Way formation history and the role of the Magellanic Clouds, as well as the contribution from globular clusters to the assembly of the Milky Way halo. She has experience on time series observations applied in the detection of variable stars, optical and near-infrared photometry as well as low resolution spectroscopy.

Alvaro Ribas

Scientific Interests:

  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Planet formation
  • Statistics and machine learning

Alejandro Santamaria Miranda

Alejandro Santamaría Miranda is an ESO fellow with duties at ALMA. He obtained his PhD in 2019 at the Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile, investigating the formation of brown dwarfs.

His main research activities are focused in star formation, in particular:

  • Very low mass stars, and brown dwarfs formation
  • Jets and molecular outflows
  • Accretion in protoplanetary disks
  • Sub-mm/mm interferometry

Personal home page

Peter Scicluna

Scientific interests:

  • Interstellar & Circumstellar dust
  • Evolved stars
  • Astrostatistics


Julia Victoria Seidel

Julia Victoria Seidel is an ESO Fellow since October 2021 with duties in Paranal and for the ESPRESSO spectrograph. She obtained her PhD from the University of Geneva in Switzerland in 2021 on the modelling of exoplanet atmospheric dynamics using resolved spectral lines. She is also interested in science communication and has participated in various events across Europe and South America.

Research interests:

  • exoplanets
  • atmospheric modelling
  • high-resolution spectroscopy
  • multi-nested sampling retrieval

Personal home page


Ditte Slumstrup

Scientific Interests:

  • Fundamental parameters and chemical abundances of red giant stars
  • Galactic Archaeology
  • Optical high-resolution spectroscopy


Aleksandra Solarz

Scientific interests:

  • Dusty star-forming galaxies
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Machine learning techniques

Rob van Holstein

Rob van Holstein is an ESO fellow since November 2021 with duties at Paranal. He obtained his MSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Delft University of Technology in 2016. He received his PhD from the Leiden University in October 2021 on high-contrast imaging polarimetry of exoplanets and circumstellar disks, in particular using the instrument SPHERE-IRDIS at the Very Large Telescope. His main research interests are:

  • Formation of planets and brown dwarf companions
  • Protoplanetary and debris disks
  • High-contrast imaging polarimetry
  • Novel observing techniques
  • Instrumentation, calibration, and data reduction

Thomas Wevers is an ESO fellow since October 2020, with Paranal as duty station. He obtained his PhD from Radboud University (2017) under supervision of Peter Jonker and Gijs Nelemans, working on a multi-wavelength survey of the Galactic Bulge, Gaia transients, and tidal disruption events. He currently works with optical, UV and X-ray observations of TDEs to try and understand the origin and interplay of different emission components seen following such cataclysmic events. 

Scientific interests:

  • Accreting compact objects across the mass scale
  • Tidal disruption events
  • Time-domain astronomy / transients
  • X-ray — UV — optical photometry and spectroscopy                                                                  

Chentao Yang

Scientific interests:

  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • Dusty star-forming galaxies at high-redshift
  • Physical conditions of molecular gas

Personal home page

Fellows hosted outside ESO

Jorge Lillo Box

4th year at the Center for Astrobiology (CAB), Spain

Cyrielle Opitom

4th year at ROE/Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK




Paid Associates

Unpaid Associates

Carlos Duran

Scientific Interests:

  • Submm and far infrared instrumentation
  • Radio Astronomy



(LEA: Local ESO Advisor; S: Supervisor; HI: Home Institute)

Carla Arce-Tord
(LEA: Dr. Bill Dent& I. De Gregorio
S:Prof. Simon Casassus
HI:Departamento de Astronomía, Chile.

Working on:

  • Observational Radio Astronomy
  • Micro-Physics of cosmic dust at low frequency
  • Analysis of radio radiative processes at different scales, from the Interstellar Medium to Protoplanetary Disks


Benjamin Beauchesne
(LEA: Pascale Hibon
S: Jean-Paul Kneib
HI: École polytechnique fédérale
de Lausanne (EPFL)

Working on:

• Strong gravitational lensing
• Galaxy cluster mass modelling
• Physical properties of high-redshift galaxies

Emma Bordier
(LEA: Willem-Jan De Wit
S: Hugues Sana
HI: KU Leuven)

Working on:

  • The origin of close massive binaries in order to figure out the processes behind the pairing mechanism
  • Long baseline optical interferometry and high-angular resolution imaging


Julien Drevon
(LEA: C. Paladini & P. Scicluna
S: Pierre Cruzalebes &
Florentin Millour
HI:OCA (Observatoire de
la Côte d'Azur) & UCA
(Université Côte d'Azur))

Working on:

  • Better understand the dust and the stellar wind formation around evolved stars (i.e AGB, WR, RSG) and better constraint the role of asymmetries in driving wind. In order to do it, he is currently defining a method to homogeneously analyze a sample of evolved stars using the MATISSE instrument data.

Scientific interests:

  • Interestellar & Circumstellar dust
  • Evolved stars

Ana Ines Ennis
(LEA: J. Hartke & F. Bian
HI: Universidad de la Plata)

Working on:

  • Globular clusters
  • Planetary nebulae
  • Early-type galaxies

Jolanda Frensch
(LEA: Gaspare Lo Curto
S: François Bouchy
HI: University of Geneva)

Working on:

• Small-size exoplanets (below 2R_{earth})
• High-resolution spectroscopy (NIRPS)

Camilo Gonzalez Ruilova
(LEA: Alvaro Ribas & Itziar De Gregorio
S: Lucas Cieza
HI:Universidad Diego Portales (UDP), Chile.)

Working on:

  • Planet formation on 0 to II class sources for the dust using ALMA.
  • Dynamical and Morphological structure of gas around young stars.
  • Multi-frecuency analysis (mm-sub mm) for dust in protoplanetary disks.

Ana Maria Jimenez
(S: E. Sani & C. Mazzucchelli
HI: Università Degli Studio di Torino, Italy)

Working on:

  • Radio galaxies
  • X-ray emission from galaxy clusters
  • AGN feedback


Jan Kara
(LEA: L. Schmidtobreick
HI: Charles University, Czech Republic)

Working on:

  • Photometry of variable stars
  • Cataclysmic variables

Richa Kundu
(LEA: C. Navarrete & L. Sbordone
HI: Delhi University, India)

Working on:

  • Galactic globular clusters
  • Tidal tails
  • Variable stars (Pulsating variables)

Sebastian Kurowski
S:Waclaw Waniak
HI:Jagiellonian University, Poland

Working on:

  • Eclipsing binary stars
  • Cataclysmic variables, accretion disks
  • Optical spectroscopy
  • Astronomical instrumentation
  • Public outreach

Felipe Lagos
(LEA: L. Schmidtobreick
HI: U.Valparaiso, Chile)

Working on:

  • Close compact binaries
  • Hierarchical triple systems
  • Planet formation in multiple star systems

Francesca Lucertini
(LEA: Luca Sbordone
S: Lorenzo Monaco & Elisabetta Caffau
HI: U. Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile)

Working on:

  • High-resolution optical and infrared spectroscopy
  • Chemical abundances of stars in the Milky Way and Local Group
  • Characterization of metal-poor stars




Nicolas Dullius Mallmann
(LEA: D. Kakkad, E. Sani
HI: U. Rio Grande do Sul


Working on:

  • Stellar populations synthesis
  • AGN in the context of Galaxy evolution

Priscila J. Pessi
(LEA: J. Anderson
S: G. Folatelli
HI: FCAG, Argentina)

Working on:

  • Photometry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Supernovae, supernova progenitors

Cristian Romero
(LEA: J. Milli
HI: IPAG, Grenoble)

Working on:
  • Planetary systems evolution with the technique of high-contrast
  • Direct imaging (using VLTI/SPHERE)

Murat Uzundag
(LEA: M. Jones & C. Paladini
HI: IFA-UValparaiso, Chile)

Working on:

  • Asteroseismology of evolved compact stars
  • Spectral classifications of evolved compact stars and Red giants

Support Staff

Leslie Saldias
Paulina Jiron
Science Office Assistant
Linux support