Introducing the 2021 ESO Fellows

Published: 09 Apr 2021
NAOMI at first light

The Offices for Science and the Astronomy Faculty are very pleased to present the 2021 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Germany and Chile later this year.

Fellows in Chile


Marco Berton

  • Research Interests: AGN life cycle and feedback, narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies and their role in the unified model of AGN, blazars and relativistic jets. 
  • Current Institute: Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO - University of Turku; Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory 
  • Duty station: Paranal
  • Starting date: October 2021​​​​​​​



Rob van Holstein

  • Research Interests: Planet formation, circumstellar disks, high-contrast imaging, polarimetry, instrumentation, observing techniques, calibration, and data reduction. 
  • Current Institute: Leiden Observatory, Netherlands 
  • Duty station: Paranal
  • Starting date: August 2021 ​​​​​​​

Evgenia Koumpia

  • Research Interests:  Star formation, close binaries, dense cores, massive stellar evolution. 
  • Current Institute: University of Leeds, UK 
  • Duty station: ALMA
  • Starting date: December 2021​​​​​​​

Aaron Labdon

  • Research Interests: Optical interferometric observations of protoplanetary disks, specifically FU-Orionis type outbursting stars. 
  • Current Institute: University of Exeter, UK
  • Duty station: Paranal, VLTI 
  • Starting date: August 2021​​​​​​​

Michael Marsset

  • Research Interests: Solar System small bodies; optical and near-infrared photometry, spectroscopy and high-angular resolution imaging. 
  • Current Institute: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United-States
  • Duty station: Paranal
  • Starting date: November 2021 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Julia Seidel

  • Research Interests: Exoplanets, atmospheric dynamics and winds, atmospheric characterisation, high-resolution spectroscopy. 
  • Current Institute: Observatoire de Genève - University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Duty station: Paranal
  • ​​​​​​​Starting date: November 2021​​​​​​​


Fellows in Germany


Julia Bodensteiner

  • Research Interests: Massive (single and binary) star evolution, binary interaction products, classical Be stars, stellar clusters, optical (integral field) spectroscopy. 
  • Current Institute: Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Starting date: October 2021 ​​​​​​​

Alice Concas

  • Research Interests: Galaxy formation & evolution: baryon cycle in local and distant galaxies, star formation and AGN feedback, demographics of multi-phase gas outflows and inflows, gas & dust content, chemical enrichment, unresolved stellar populations properties, stellar population synthesis models, UV/optical/NIR spectroscopy. 
  • Current Institute: Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Starting date: November 2021​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​

Melanie Kaasinen

  • Research Interests: Galaxy evolution and star formation; the properties of the interstellar  medium in galaxies across cosmic time; combining real and synthetic observations of the cold ISM and star formation rate tracers (at optical-to-radio wavelengths); molecular gas kinematics and the settling of gas into disks; observations with ALMA, the VLA and JWST 
  • Current Institute: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Heidelberg, Germany
  • Starting date: October 2021

Jakub Klencki

  • Research Interests: Massive star and binary evolution: mass transfer physics, post-interaction stars, young stellar populations in spectroscopic surveys of metal-poor galaxies; Gravitational-wave astronomy: gravitational-wave sources and observational signatures of their progenitors; Numerical simulations: from stellar interiors, through interacting binaries, to stellar population models. 
  • Current Institute: Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Starting date: October 2021

Louise Nielsen

  • Research Interests: Young transiting exoplanets; planet formation; planet-star interactions; high resolution spectroscopy; high precision radial velocity measurements in the near-infra red and visible; stellar activity; exoplanet transit observations; internal structure of planets; synergies between space-based transit surveys and ground-based follow-up observations. 
  • Current Institute: University of Geneva, Switzerland & Oxford University, United Kingdom
  • Starting date: December 2021

Megan Reiter

  • Research Interests: the role of the star-forming environment in shaping the outcome of star and planet formation, stellar feedback, star clusters, the formation and evolution of stars of all masses, and telescopes of all sorts. 
  • Current Institute: UK Astronomy Technology Centre
  • Starting date: September 2021

Paula Sánchez Sáez

  • Research Interests: Time-domain astronomy (study of variable and transient objects); AGN variability and its connection with black hole physical properties; formation and evolution of supermassive black holes; astrostatistics and astroinformatics (analysis and characterisation of large datasets, use of machine learning algorithms to classify and characterize astronomical data). 
  • Current Institute: Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Chile; Inria Chile Research Center, Chile; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  • Starting date: November 2021