Dr. rer. nat., University Assistant
I am a member of Prof. Ziegler’s group since May 2017. In my research, I scrutinize the evolution of galaxies on cosmic time scales. To carry out my studies, I make frequent use of state-of-the-art facilities like the 8-m Very Large Telescope (VLT) or the Hubble Space Telescope. To date, I have acquired approx. 150 hours of observing time with the VLT as Principal Investigator.
An important tool in my research are so-called scaling relations that link fundamental galaxy parameters. For disk galaxies like our own Milky Way, two prominent examples are the correlation between the maximum rotation velocity (Vmax) and the luminosity – the Tully-Fisher relation – or the correlation between Vmax and disk size – the velocity-size relation. Utilizing these scaling relations, our team has established that, at given Vmax (i.e. at given total mass), disks at redshift z=1 were 2.5 times more luminous at blue wavelengths and had only 70 percent the size of their present-day counterparts.
Another of my key interests is how the evolution of galaxies depends on their environment – they can be isolated, reside in a pair, a group or even a cluster of galaxies. Environmental dependence is also the main science driver of the STAGES and OMEGA collaborations that I am a team member of. Both projects target the Abell 901/902 cluster system at a redshift of z=0.17, two billion light years away from us.
I also am investigating the interplay between central supermassive black holes and their surrounding host galaxies. We e.g. found that, contrary to previous belief, the growth of supermassive black holes is not primarily powered by so-called major mergers (mergers of galaxies of comparable mass).
More information on my various projects can be found on my personal website (see link below).
Since May 2017: University Assistant at Institute for Astrophysics Vienna
2009 – 2017: Research Assistant at Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics Innsbruck
2005 – 2009: Postdoc at Astrophysical Institute Potsdam (AIP)
2003 – 2005: Postdoc at University Observatory Göttingen
1999 – 2003: PhD at Göttingen University
1990 – 1999: Physics Diploma at Göttingen University