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MPIA Research Associate

I am an observational astronomer and currently a Research Associate  at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. One of my main tasks at MPIA is to plan and execute one of the JWST NIRSpec GTO surveys together with MPIA director Hans-Walter Rix. Still work on my core science most of my time till JWST takes data, though.  Previously, I did my PhD and short PostDoc at the Leibniz-Insitute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (German) and were ESO fellow in Garching. 

My main reasearch areas are

  • The co-evolution of black holes and galaxies
  • Feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN)
  • Dual or binary AGN in merging galaxies
  • Galaxy evolution at high redshift
  • Spatially-resolved galaxy properties
  • Software development

Ongoing major collaborations:

  • The multi-wavelength Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS) of which am the PI and leader of the international collaboration
  • The Snapshot Optical Spectroscopic Imaging of Mergers and Pairs for Legacy Exploration (SOSIMPLE) survey of which am the PI
  • The NIRSpec GTO extra-galactic surveys lead by ESA of which I am an associated member
  • The SINFONI SURVEY for Unveiling the Physics and the real Effect of Radiative feedback (SUPER), a >200h large programme to quantify AGN feedback at z~2
  • The Calar Alto Large Integral Field Area (CALIFA) survey, IFU survey of 600 local galaxies at 0.005<z<0.03
  • The Multiple AGN Activity (MAGNA) science team

I am using mainly optical and near-IR integral field spectroscopy to infer the properties AGN and galaxies in a spatially resolved manner. And I have experience with several major integral field spectrographs, i.e. PMAS (Calar Alto), GMOS (Gemini), VIMOS and MUSE (VLT) with more than 40 nights of observing experience at Calar Alto and the VLT. Since the cold gas is a major driver for galaxy evolution I also conducted sub-mm and radio observations at the IRAM 30m  telescope and Karl Jansky VLA.

As part of my work software development is very important and have lead a few software projects. Most notably a flexible data reduction software package for fibre-fed IFU spectrographs that has been used to produce the science-grade data of the CALIFA survey.

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