I am currently finishing my PhD studies at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA) in Bonn, supervised by Prof. Pavel Kroupa. My work centers on the phase-space distribution of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, in particular the satellites of the Milky Way. I am using them to test cosmological models and investigate whether a they could have been formed as tidal dwarf galaxies in a past galaxy collision, which would explain the vast polar structure (VPOS) around our Galaxy. I discovered that this VPOS consists not only of dwarf galaxies, but also of globular clusters and streams of disrupted systems orbiting our Galaxy. My research indicates that this tidal scenario is indeed viable, which is further supported by the discovery of additional planar satellite distributions in the Local Group.
Satellite galaxies of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy, their phase-space distribution, possible scenarios for their origin and its implications for our understanding of cosmology.
Tidal Dwarf Galaxies (TDGs), their creation, evolution and properties.
Galaxy-interactions and -collisions.
Numerical calculations as bridge between theory and observation.
Furthermore interested in the Philosophy of Science, especially the Scientific Method and Scientific Realism, as well as public outreach in astronomy.
I was teaching assistant for numerous lectures in astrophysics (Numerical Methods in Physics, PD Dr. H. Baumgardt; Astrophysics of Galaxies, Prof. P. Kroupa; Stars and Stellar Evolution, Prof. N. Langer) and most recently was tutor for the advanced lab course Photometry of Star Clusters at the 50cm-telescope of the AIfA. Previously I worked for the Max-Planck Institute for Radio-Astronomy (MPIfR), giving popular science talks in the visitor pavilion at the 100-meter radio telescope in Effelsberg, helped with the presentation of the AIfA in the science-night in Bonn and the MPIfR in the astronomy tent on the Münsterplatz in the International Year of Astronomy 2009. I was member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the conferences The Milky Way Halo – Stars and Gas (2007) and Tidal Dwarf Galaxies Bonn (2009), where my task including planning and preparation of the meetings, supporting the guest and doing press relations and (photographic) documentation.
Selected Talks, Conferences, Schools and Collaborations
- Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg: visitor colloquium “Correlated Structures of Satellite Galaxies in the Local Group and Their Origin” (February 18, 2013)
- GEPI at the Observatoire de Paris: collaboration meeting and invited seminar talk, “Satellite galaxy planes in the Local Group and clues on their origin” (January 28, 2013).
- Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, France: Invited colloquium talk “The VPOS: a vast polar structure of satellites around the Milky Way” (January 11,2013)
- Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy: Lunch Colloquium Talk “Correlated structures of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group” (January 9, 2013)
- 13th Marcel Grossmann Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden. Talk in the parallel session “Self-Gravitating System” (July 3, 2012).
- GEPI at the Observatoire de Paris: invited by the group of Prof. Francois Hammer to give a seminar talk “A vast polar structure of satellite galaxies, globular clusters and streams around the Milky Way” (March 12, 2012).
- Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy: Lunch Colloquium Talk “A Giant polar structure of streams, globular clusters and satellite galaxies around the Milky Way” (December 7, 2011).
- Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy Retreat/Seminar: giving a talk in the session “The amazing world of galaxies”. (2011)
- Conference/annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society: “Surveys & Simulations – The Real and the Virtual Universe” in Heidelberg: giving two talks, one each in the splinter meetings “From Star Clusters to Galaxy Formation – The Virtual Universe” and “Does the redshift-zero universe look as predicted by models?“. Also presenting a poster. (2011)
- Conference “Assembling the Puzzle of the Milky Way” in Le Grand Bornand, France. Presentation of a poster. (2011)
- Conference “Dynamics of Low-Mass Stellar Systems: From Star Clusters to Dwarf Galaxies” at ESO in Santiago de Chile, giving a talk. (2011)
- Trip to the University of Vienna for a collaboration meeting with Prof. G. Hensler and S. Ploeckinger, also giving a talk. (2010)
- Conference “New Directions in Modern Cosmology” in the Lorentz Center in Leiden, presentation of a poster (2010)
- Annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society: “Zooming in: The Cosmos at High Resolution“, talk in the splinter meeting “Magellanic Clouds“. (2010)
- Summer school “Evolution of galaxies and their large-scale environment“. (2010)
- Trip to the Australian National University in Canberra, talk and collaboration with Dr. H. Jerjen in the Milky Way satellite galaxies. (2009)
- Conference „Tidal Dwarf Galaxies Bonn“, poster presentation and LOC. (2009)
- School “MODEST8a – School on Dynamics of Dense Stellar Systems and Gravitational Wave Generation”. (2008)
- Conference “The Milky Way Halo – Stars and Gas” at the AIfA Bonn, LOC. (2007)