Welcome to Marina Rejkuba's web site

I am an associate astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and head of the ESO's User Support Department (USD). The USD is in charge of providing support to observers who use ESO's Paranal Observatory facilities, assisting Science Operations Team at the observatory in efficiently executing the service mode observations, as well as defining user requirements and overseeing the development and implementation of observation tools. Furthermore the USD head is the main contact for ESO's Users' Committee, an advisory body to the Director General.


I have joined ESO as a staff member in the USD in 2005, after a rewarding experience first as a student within the ESO studentship programme and then as the ESO Garching fellow between 2002-2005. My duties in USD included support for service mode users of FORS1/FORS2, VIMOS, FLAMES, and VIRCAM instruments, contributions to the respective Instrument Operations Teams, and active participation in the ESO Survey Team, which oversees the implementation, execution and deliverables from large Public Survey observing programmes at ESO. In 2008 I became the Project Scientist responsible for the requirements and evolution of the observation handling tools (OHS). We have developed a new generation of Phase 2 Preparation Tool version 3 (P2PP3) used by the PIs or their Phase 2 delegates to prepare their observations, as well as the Observation Tool version 3 (OT3) used by the observatory staff to review and execute service mode observations. Originally these tools were developed for imaging public surveys that started in 2010 on VISTA and 2011 on VST, but were then extended for use on all Paranal telescopes in 2012. A new observations execution reporting tool - the so called (Garching) Night Log Tool or gNLT, deployed in 2011, facilitates and automatizes both harvesting information on the observations' execution and reporting for the users. In 2014 I initiated a new project that aims to further improve and evolve the observation preparation and execution tools, by adding new functionalities and employing modern technological solutions. In October 2016 the project achieved its first milestone with the deployment of the web-based phase 2 preparation tool and the new visitor Observing Tool (so-called vOT4).
Between 2012-2015 I was the line manager for the User Support Astronomers Group (USG) in USD and within this role I was responsible to optimize resources, distribute the day-to-day duties and supervise the daily support work of the USG members. In 2015 I took up the responsibility for the entire department as the USD head, leading the User Support astronomers and Operations Support Groups.

My scientific interests are focused on the study of the resolved stellar content and globular cluster systems of nearby galaxies, with the aim to understand their formation and evolution. My favourite galaxy is Centaurus A, or rather the optical counterpart of this famous radio galaxy: NGC 5128. Besides studying stellar populations of nearby galaxies in the Local Group and beyond, I am also actively involved in the Milky Way bulge project. I am a member of the VVV survey and its extension VVVX, as well as follow-up spectroscopic bulge surveys such as GIBS, the FLAMES Large Programme.

In April 2013 I became a Junior Principal Investigator at the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Garching Research Campus. On the right you'll find the links to places I studied at, worked at, or visited for extended periods to collaborate with my colleagues, and on the top links to my research, curriculum vitae, and contact details.

A final standard disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this site do not reflect in any way the opinions of ESO.