I am a stellar astrophysicist with primary research interests in stellar variability, evolution, binarity, and the accurate determination of cosmic distances. Over the past few years, I have successfully combined these fascinating and diverse research fields by studying primarily classical Cepheid variable stars using observational and theoretical methods. The aim of my research is to provide new insights into the physics of stars that will help to solidify the foundation of the cosmic distance scale, which tells us about the size and age of the universe. A more detailed description of my research can be found here.
My current post-doctoral fellowship (funded by the Swiss NSF) in Adam Riess’ group here at the Johns Hopkins University started in November 2014. Before moving across the Atlantic, I was awarded a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Geneva in Switzerland (December 2013), where my thesis advisors were Laurent Eyer and Nami Mowlavi. Prior to the PhD program in Geneva, I studied physics and graduated with a Diplom degree (equivalent to an MSc) from the Georg-August Universität Göttingen in 2009. My Diplomarbeit (Master’s thesis) on the topic of magnetic field measurements in stars similar to the Sun was supervised by Ansgar Reiners. During my undergraduate studies, I was also fortunate to spend one year in Lund (Sweden) as an ERASMUS exchange student, work as research assistant in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory group at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON (Canada) for six months, and try out radio astronomy at ASIAA in Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
Achieving a better understanding of the physics of stars while (sometimes) discovering completely unexpected phenomena or connections is personally immensely satisfying to me. In the near future, the ESA Gaia space mission will offer unprecedented potential for serendipitous discovery and is poised to revolutionize our understanding of stars, our home Galaxy, and even the distance scale. This is truly an outstanding time for stellar physics and I am proud to be a part of these endeavors.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more. A detailed list of publications is available here, an updated CV upon request.
Research interests: stellar variability, activity, and evolution; distance scale; radial velocity measurements; astrometry