Welcome to Mario van den Ancker's homepage!
I am an astronomer working at the European Southern Observatory. My research is aimed at increasing our knowledge of the poorly understood processes of how stars form, how young stars interact with their surrounding material, and how planets eventually form out of this circumstellar material. I'm trying to discover more about how the process of star formation actually proceeds, what the role of circumstellar gas and dust in this process is, and to answer the question how common planet formation around solar-type stars is, by studying pre-main sequence type stars and very young open clusters.
I studied Physics and Astronomy (with a minor in computer science) at the University of Amsterdam, which I completed with a Doctoraal (roughly equivalent to a masters degree) thesis on Herbig Ae/Be stars in February 1996. In 1999 I finished a PhD thesis on circumstellar material around young stars at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, MA (USA), I have been on staff since 2002 at the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany.