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


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


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 website

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 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

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

Mathias André

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

Outreach Initiatives

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of Outreach Initiatives

Lars is a science communication specialist responsible for public outreach initiatives for VLT, La Silla, ALMA, ELT, and ESA's part of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6761


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.


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.


Sarah Leach


The list of volunteers is available on this link.