Research Team

Scientific collaboration is one of the main strengths of MPIA as an institution. In this tradition, the following group of talented astronomers further their research through ingenuity, perseverance, collaboration, and efficient use of the facilities MPIA provides.


Tristan Cantat

Tristan Cantat

Tristan studies the structure of the Milky Way. His work primarily focuses on star clusters, which trace the large-scale morphology of our Galaxy and its spiral pattern, but also retain clues about the conditions of star formation. He is an active member of the Gaia Data Analysis and Processing Consortium, and the spectroscopic surveys WEAVE and 4MOST.
Matthew Green
Matthew works on binary star systems, with a particular interest in binary systems containing compact objects. He works on the search for BH+MS binary systems, on short-period MS+MS binary systems, and on ultracompact (WD+WD) binary systems. He uses observational data from Gaia, TESS, or large-telescope follow-up instruments, and is a part of the HiPERCAM collaboration. more
Nadiia Pulatova

Nadiia Pulatova

Nadiia Pulatova works on the project "The Sources of Excitation of the Optical Emission in X-ray Selected Galaxies" within the Walter Benjamin Programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German Research Foundation).  She uses data from the SDSS-V, XMM-Newton and eROSITA to determine the properties of X-ray galaxies, such as the excitation mechanisms in the optic and to estimate the masses of supermassive black holes. In her research she focuses on local galaxies (z < 0.4). Her scientific interests include: Extragalactic astronomy  (in particular, active galactic nuclei (AGN), X-ray and optical  spectroscopy, supermassive black holes, reprocessing mechanisms, morphology of the galaxies).
Jaime Villasenor

Jaime Villasenor

My main interest is massive binary stars. From their orbital properties to their complex evolution. To understand the conecction between these two aspects, I work with spectroscopic surveys of massive stars, characterising their orbital and physical properties, and trying to uncover interesting systems in different evolutionary phases that can helps us to understand the effects of binarity in the life and death of these massive objects.
Jiadong Li
Jiadong's research focuses on understanding the intricacies of star formation, the evolutionary processes of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, and their historical contexts, leveraging extensive datasets. He employs advanced methodologies, including machine learning techniques, statistical inference, and predictive modeling, to analyze data from leading astronomical surveys such as SDSS-V, APOGEE, Gaia, LAMOST, and CSST. His primary interest lies in the exploration of stellar populations, emphasizing the stellar initial mass function, vertical motion history, and the chemical evolution of galaxies. more
Eleonora Zari

Eleonora Zari

Eleonora is interested in mapping the structure and the star formation properties of the young Milky Way, using both massive OB-type stars and lower-mass pre-main sequence stars. She mainly works with data from the Gaia satellite, and she is currently involved in the OB-star target selection of the SDSS-V survey.

Ph.D. Students

Johanna Müller-Horn
Based on high-resolution, multi-epoch spectroscopy, Johanna is working to characterize binary star systems with compact companions. She is interested in uncovering the formation pathways of these systems and, more broadly, constraining the properties of the black hole population in the Milky Way. more
Luzian Seeburger

Rhys is interested in exploring the landscape of dormant stellar mass black holes in binaries in the Milky Way. In particular, he uses spectroscopic disentangling techniques to help reveal stellar companions “hiding” in the spectra of spatially unresolved binaries and constrain the parameters of the system and both components. For this, he uses multi-epoch high-resolution spectra from instruments such as the FEROS spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Outside of research he likes to engage in outreach and activism, to share his love for Astronomy with people from all walks of life.
Verena Fürnkranz
Using data provided by Gaia, Verena studies the orbit space clustering of stars in the extended solar neighborhood. The aim of her project is to address and answer the following questions: What is the origin of the substructure in the orbit distribution? On what orbits are stars born? How clumpy is the distribution of birth places of stars? At what rate do young clusters disperse and what does this tell us about the transition to the Galactic field population? more


Go to Editor View