Curriculum Vitae

I am an astrophysicist interested in the fomation of stars and planetary systems, the properties of exoplanets and their atmospheres. I have a special interest in the chemistry of the universe and computational and laboratory astrophysics. I am building instruments for my science, especially based on adaptive optics and infrared interferometry, but also using spaced-based observatories. I enjoy working with students and postdocs and have supervised more than 60 Ph.D students during my professional career. Certainly related to my family background I am interested in the philosophy of science and have a passion for literature and modern arts. Public outreach is an important element of my life and I am editing the largest popular astronomy journal for the German-speaking countries, Sterne und Weltraum, and played an important role in establishing the astronomy public outreach center Haus der Astronomie in Heidelberg. I am interested in combining different fields to make progress in our understanding of the origins of life. I have a great interest in the Chilean nation, where the best skies for astronomers and some of the most breathtaking landscapes on this planet can be found.

A summary of my education, career, and work can be found online at my Wikipedia entry [en] [de].


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Academic and Professional Background

  • 2016 Adjunct Professor - Tata Institute for Fundamental Studies, India
  • 2002 Professor for Astrophysics, University of Jena Honorary Professor, University of Heidelberg
  • 2001 Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Planet and Star Formation Department, Heidelberg
  • 2000 – 2002 Director of the Astrophysical Institute, University of Jena
  • 2000 – 2007 Co-Chair of the DFG Research Group Laboratory Astrophysics
  • 1999 – 2002 Chair for Astrophysics, University of Jena
  • 1992 – 1998 Professor for Astrophysics, University of Jena
  • 1991 – 1996 Head of the Max Planck Research Unit Star Formation, Jena
  • 1989 – 1990 Postdoc - Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Bonn • 1989 Habilitation, University of Jena
  • 1986 – 1988 Assistant Professor at the Astrophysical Institute and University Observatory, Jena
  • 1984 – 1985 Postdoc, Charles University Prague
  • 1984 PhD in Astrophysics, University of Jena
  • 1981 Diploma Degree in Physics, University of Jena

Professional Service

Member of Editorial Boards

Awards and Honorary Memberships

Relevant Instrumentation Activities

  • Co-I of the PACS instrument (Herschel observatory)
  • Co-I of the FIFI-LS instrument (SOFIA observatory)
  • Co-PI of the NACO Exoplanet Survey (ESO)
  • Co-PI of the Hat-South and Pan-Planets Transit Projects
  • Co-I of the SPHERE Planet Imagining Instrument for the VLT (ESO)
  • Co-I of the SEEDS collaboration (Tokyo-Heidelberg-Princeton)
  • Co-PI of the MATISSE imaging instrument for the VLTI (ESO)
  • Co-PI of the JWST MIRI instrument
  • Science Team Member of the GRAVITY instrument
  • Science Team Member of the METIS instrument for the E-ELT
  • Associated Scientist of the TESS project
  • WFIRST SDT Member (ESA representative)
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