ESO education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD)

Contact ESO ePOD

Please direct all inquiries and requests (English language is preferred) to this address:

ESO education and Public Outreach Department,
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
D-85748 Garching bei München

Tel: +49 89 3200 6291
Fax: +49 89 3200 2362

The Team

Our team consists of in-house staff, collaborators and interns. Some work full-time, some part-time. We also collaborate with volunteers. If you'd like to become a volunteer please fill out the form here.

A list of students and previous interns/visitors/volunteers and former employees is available.


Head of education and Public Outreach

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of ePOD

Lars is a science communication specialist heading the ESO-Hubble outreach group in Munich, Germany, where he is responsible for public outreach and education for VLT, La Silla, ALMA, ELT, and ESA's part of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6761


  1. Management and coordination of ESO's EPO efforts
  2. Setting the strategic goals of the EPO work
  3. Implementation of the EPO Strategy and optimising its return-on-investment


Susana Almagro Garcia

Administrative Assistant

Tel: +49 89 3200 6291


  1. Administrative, Procurement and Budget Support
  2. Travel Logistics and Internships Support
  3. Events and Project coordination

Media Relations, Press Releases

Calum Turner

Public Information Officer

Calum received an MPhys in astrophysics from The University of Edinburgh, but wasn't keen on becoming an astronomer. Instead, he has a growing experience of science journalism and science communication. He has worked with the Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre, Edinburgh International Science Festival, and the Astronomy for Remote and Island Schools project, and spent much of his degree bringing astronomy to learners from all over Scotland.

Most recently, he has worked with the ESO ePOD team as an intern, and is delighted to step into the role of interim PIO. He will use his time as PIO to further broaden his knowledge of science journalism and outreach. Outside the world of science communication, he is passionate about space exploration, and is preparing for an MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace — rocket science!

Tel: +49 89 3200 6670


  1. Public Information Officer work: coordination/implementation of outreach projects, writing of press releases, web pages, announcements, ESOcasts


Mariya Lyubenova


Mariya holds a doctorate in astronomy from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet after pursuing 3 years of research at the Headquarters of ESO in Germany. In her work, she observes and uses the motions and chemical properties of stars in galaxies as fossil records to unravel the build-up and evolution of galaxies.

Well before she started her university studies in her home country Bulgaria, she was already an active astronomy club member and editor of an astronomy magazine and a newspaper. After the completion of her PhD in 2009, she worked first as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany and then at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.



  1. Science liaison: scientific quality assurance
  2. Astronomical image production coordination
  3. ESO Science Outreach Network coordination

Advanced Projects

Mathias Andre

Web & Advanced Projects Coordinator

Mathias obtained an MSc in Computer Science in England and worked for several years as a Unix system administrator and IT Operations Manager before joining the ESO outreach group to tackle new challenges as Web and Advanced Projects Coordinator.

He is passionate about science and technology, and above all loves learning new things.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6760


  1. Development and implementation of our EPO media archive system
  2. Development of other technical science communication infrastructure
  3. Development of outreach image processing tools

Raquel Yumi Shida

Web Content Coordinator

Raquel obtained a professional degree in architecture and urban planning at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, her home country. As an undergraduate student, she also took classes in various fields of science and became an avid amateur astronomer, publishing data and articles on galactic and extragalactic stars. Since then she has worked at the Astronomy Department at the University of São Paulo, at NASA/STScI and at ESA/Hubble, doing both scientific research and astronomy outreach. Today she is responsible for creating visual and textual content and managing several websites for ESO, IAU and ESA/Hubble.

A fraction of her publications in astronomy and science communication can be found on this NASA/ADS link

Tel: +49 89 3200 6177


  1. Updating, maintaining, designing and developing websites
  2. Developing, organising and publishing web content

Printed Publications

Jutta Boxheimer

Print Coordinator



  1. Print Design Coordination, Visual identity oversight
  2. Layout of print products


Mafalda Martins

Print Assistant

Tel: +49 3200 9020


  1. Print layout assistance
  2. General graphics: posters, illustrations etc.

Video & Animations

Martin Kornmesser

Animations/Graphics Coordinator

Tel: +49 89 3200 6586

Visit Martin's website.


  1. Graphical image processing
  2. 2D and 3D modelling and animation
  3. Misc. motion and still graphics: video editing, encoding, web design

Herbert Zodet

Video Coordinator

Tel: +49 3200 6422


  1. Production of video material for broadcast, online and DVD use
  2. Maintenance of the online/offline video archive
  3. Writing of audiovisual scripts

Luis Calçada

Animations Assistant

Luis studied Physics/Applied Math (Astronomy) but eventually gave up on the idea of becoming a real scientist. He got his first real job at a science centre in Portugal, where for 6 years he discovered, developed and matured his skills in visual science communication. At ESO he's part of the latter steps of the chain, in a group which tries to deliver to the public the extraordinary science there developed in the exciting and inspiring manner it deserves. His tools of choice are Maxon's Cinema 4D, Adobe's Photoshop and After Effects and a Wacom Intuos 3. When he has the time, he also likes to do some photography, a sample of which you can see on his Flickr page (

Tel: +49 3200 6855


  1. Artist's impressions
  2. 3D modelling and rendering
  3. General graphics: posters, illustrations etc.

ESO Supernova

Tania Johnston

Supernova Coordinator

Tania grew up in the North-East of Scotland, where her love of astronomy started at an early age, thanks to the wonderful dark skies there. Tania obtained a Masters in Chemistry from Southampton, England, before beginning her career in science communication. She has experience creating and delivering hands-on workshops and talks on a variety of scientific topics, to a wide range of audiences. Tania has developed curriculum related educational material and worked closely with the Physics teaching community in Scotland to support the use of astronomy as a context for teaching science at all levels. In 2012, she received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, which allowed her to travel to Chile to visit some of ESO’s large telescopes, to expand her understanding of these facilities and further enhance her abilities communicating astronomy to the public. You can read about her trip in her blog here

Tel: +49 89 3200 6130


Álvaro Caseiro de Almeida

Outreach Trainee

Álvaro holds an MSc degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Physical Engineering, both from the University of Aveiro, in Portugal, where he was born. In the last years, he has also been devoting significant time to science education and communication, taking science to schools, to the general public and organising scientific events of various types.

In 2013 and 2015 respectively, he participated in the foundation of the first Student Chapter of The Optical Society and in the foundation of the first Young Minds Section of the European Physical Society, both in Portugal.

He is also an amateur journalist. Astronomy and science management and communication are his current main interests.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6625


  1. Public Information Office assistance

Laura Hiscott

Intern Science Communication

Laura discovered at school that she very much enjoyed finding out how things work, which led her to study for a degree in physics. During her time at university however, she found that what she enjoyed even more than getting to grips with a new concept, was then going and telling someone else about it. She explored this interest while writing about scientific phenomena and the relationship of science with society for her student science magazine, Broadsheet. She is now looking forward to learning more about telling the stories of scientific developments to a wider audience in the context of ESO’s exciting work.



  1. Public Information Office assistance
Laura Hiscott

Sarah Leach

Intern Science Communication

Sarah has recently received an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London. Prior to that she worked in education and related fields science museums and centres in the U.S., including the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. She has a long history in astronomy education, including teaching practical astronomy, telescope use, and ethnoastronomy for museums, planetariums, and summer camps, and is excited to have the chance to develop new skills while telling the world about ESO’s work.



  1. Public Information Office assistance
Sarah Leach

ePOD Chile

Laura Ventura

Team Leader in Chile

A graduate in Astronomy, Laura has worked in Outreach and Education at world-class astronomical observatories since 2001. She joined ESO in 2006. Since then, she has attended more than 150 visits to Paranal, ALMA and La Silla observatories, developing an extensive experience in supporting media and VIPs at the sites. Laura was recently appointed as Interim Team Leader of ESO education and Public Outreach Department in Chile. Before ESO, she worked for almost four years on the development of educational and outreach contents at the "Director's Cabinet" of the Astrophysics Institute of Canary Islands (IAC), Spain. She studied at the Faculties of Physics of the University of Padua (Italy) and the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), from 1994 to 1999. She did a post-graduate research work on stellar populations in dwarf galaxies of the Local Group at the Astrophysics Institute of Canary Islands (IAC), her alma mater.

Tel: +56 2 463 3265


Bárbara Nuñez

Press Officer in Chile.

Bárbara is the Press Officer of ESO in Chile. After graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile University in 2011, she specialized in science communication at the University of Chile. She worked for national newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias, Chile’s most read newspaper in the country. There, she wrote about science, technology, and health. She also had the opportunity to write for international media such as The Planetary Society. She has been the finalist of several environmental and science journalism awards in Chile.

Tel: +56 2 463 3019

Mylène Andre

Chile Outreach Officer



  1. Public Outreach Officer

ePOD Volunteers

The list of volunteers is available on this link.