About me

I am a faculty astronomer at ESO, where I share my time between research and functional work for the observatory.

I am Head of the Media Relations Team and Science Liaison at ESO's Department of Communication in the Office of the Director General. I lead a culturally diverse team of science communicators, writers, visual artists, image processing specialists and social media experts. Our goal is to bring to the attention of the media, educators, decision-makers, local communities, and the public in general the most important scientific and technological achievements of the astronomical users community of ESO and its 16 member states. I am also the coordinator of the ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON). Additionally, I totally enjoy being an amateur astronomer with a 8-m telescope for the sake of ESO's Cosmic Gems project.

In my research work I observe and use the motions and chemical properties of stars in galaxies as fossil records to unravel the build-up and evolution of galaxies. In the Research section you will find a brief summary of some of the scientific projets that I am currently involved in. I am a member of the Fornax3D survey collaboration, the XSL project (to which I was the Project Manager), and the CALIFA survey. Curently, I supervise 3 PhD students: Katja Fahrion (3 years ESO-IMPRS), Adriano Poci (1 year ESO studentship), and Kshama Kurian (1 year ESO studentship, in co-supervision with Dominika Wylezalek).

After completing my PhD in 2009, I worked briefly at ESO's ELT Science Office. Then I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany and then at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Mariya, Feb 2015


mlyubeno (@) eso.org


+49 89 3200 6188


Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
85748 Garching bei München