ESO Department of Communication

Contact Us

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

ESO Department of Communication,
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 is available.


Interim Head of the Department of Communication

Fernando Comerón

Interim Head of the Department of Communication

Tel: +49 89 3200 6313


Susana Almagro Garcia

Administrative Assistant

Susana is the ESO Department of Communication Assistant at ESO's Headquarters in Garching. Her work includes providing administrative, travel, procurement and budget support for the department. Besides these duties, she also is in charge of logistics for the science communication internships, trainees, apprentices, students, visitors and volunteers. She coordinates events and projects as well as assisting with the budget and the coordination of payments.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6291

Media Relations Team

Mariya Lyubenova

Head of Media Relations Team

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.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6188

Bárbara Trovão Ferreira

Public Information Officer

Bárbara is responsible for managing the production of the ESO news items and acts as ESO’s interface with the media. She started her science communication career as a science writing intern at ESO back in 2011. She then moved to the European Geosciences Union where she worked for 8 years as media and communications manager, before returning to ESO. Originally from Portugal, she has a degree in astronomy from the University of Porto, and a masters and PhD in mathematical astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6670




Paola Amico

Science Liaison

Paola holds a Doctorate in Astronomy from Padova University, Italy. In 1994 she started as science fellow at ESO, in a wave of enthusiasm from her visits as a student that had her enjoying ESO's coffee since 1989; already in 1995 she moved her fellowship  to the Detector Group of the Instrumentation Division, to follow a more technology-oriented career in astronomy. She became staff member at ESO in the Data Management Division in 1998, as Data Quality Control Scientist for ISAAC and NACO. In 2001 she moved to Hawaii, to enjoy tropical beaches and to work at Keck Observatory as Instrument Scientist for LRIS and eventually OSIRIS, following her interest in Adaptive Optics assisted Astronomy.

In 2005 she became Staff Astronomer at Paranal Observatory, thus re-joining ESO in a different continent. She was instrument scientist of NACO and SINFONI and leader of the Adaptive Optics team. In the 8 years as astronomer at the observatories, she participated in more than 30 different instrument commissioning and upgrades, and passed the 1200-nights mark as observer. Returning to regular daytime-work happened in 2009, when she closed a geographical and career triangle, as System Engineer in the Instrumentation Division of ESO. She currently works on ELT-related projects, such as MAORY, MICADO and the Wavefront Sensing Cameras, and supports the Department of Communication as Science Liaison. Asteroid #454350 discovered by WISE is named after her.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6927


Martin Kornmesser

Visual Artist

Visit Martin's Flickr page

Tel: +49 89 3200 6586

Herbert Zodet

Video Coordinator

Tel: +49 3200 6422

Luis Calçada

Data Visualisations Artist

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

Internal Communication

Douglas Pierce-Price

Head of Internal Communication

Tel: +49 89 3200 6759


Gabriela Gajardo

Internal Communication Chile

Tel: +56 2 463 3093

Communication 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 specialised 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

Outreach Officer in Chile

Tel: +56 2 463 3123

Editorial Team

Gaitee Hussain

Head of Editorial Team

Tel: +49 89 3200 6176

Jutta Boxheimer

Print Coordinator

Tel: +49 3200 6332

Mafalda Martins

Print Assistant

Tel: +49 3200 9020



Web Team

Raquel Yumi Shida

Head of Web Team

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 attended classes in various fields of science, built her own telescope 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 scientific research, astronomy outreach and web design/development. Today she is responsible for the web content and management of 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

Gurvan Bazin

Web & Advanced Projects Coordinator

Gurvan is a Full Stack Web Engineer. He got his PhD in Observational and Computational Cosmology in 2008 and worked on various international astronomical experiments, e.g. SPT, SDSS and LSST. He became an expert in data processing, data analysis and their counterparts in software engineering. In 2015, he started to work on the ESO Exposure Time Calculators, shifting focus towards Web Technologies. He is now responsible for the development and maintenance of the ESO, IAU and ESA/Hubble websites.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6872


Vanessa Emeka-Okafor

Intern Science Communication

Vanessa graduated in Applied Physics with a first-class honours degree from St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Before starting at ESO, she worked as an Observatory Explainer under the Astronomers team at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; where she enjoyed explaining astronomy topics ranging from Black holes to Celestial navigation to the general public every week. With a focus on exoplanet atmospheres and planetary geophysics in her final dissertation; she enjoys sharing her passion for physics through writing and other creative outlets. Vanessa also spent some time as a teaching assistant at secondary school level, taking an active role in the science and math department. Originally from London, Vanessa enjoys concerts, reading and filmmaking in her spare time. Vanessa hopes to learn more about how to better communicate complicated scientific ideas to a general audience through writing and audio/visuals at her time here at ESO.


Vanessa Emeka-Okafor

Caroline Reid

Intern Science Communication

After graduating with a Bachelor’s in physics from Kings College London, Reid wrote about science at IFLScience and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Reid then completed a Master’s in media theory and practice at the University of Cape Town and wrote a monster thesis specialising in Martian colonisation and interplanetary relations.


Caroline Reid


The list of volunteers is available on this link.