Curriculum vitae

Work Experience

Currently: Associate Professor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Conducting independent research, supervising student research projects, and teaching graduate classes with a focus on topics related to the large-scale structure of the Universe.

2013-2016: International Top Young Fellow, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Awarded three-year fellowship to conduct research in high-energy Astrophysics at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) starting June 2013. Postdoctoral sponsor: Prof. Tadayuki Takahashi.

2009–2013: Einstein Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University

Einstein fellow (2009-2012) and later postdoctoral fellow (2012-2013) at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), Stanford University. Postdoctoral sponsor: Prof. Steven W. Allen.

2007–2008: Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Awarded NASA funding to visit the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in October–November 2007 and October–November 2008 during my PhD program. Supervisor: Dr. William R. Forman.

Education

2005-2009: PhD, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Graduate studies at the International Max Planck Research School on
Astrophysics. Awarded the title Dr. rer. nat. summa cum laude by the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich on June 4, 2009.
Thesis: AGN-ICM interaction in nearby cool core clusters: energetics and transport processes. Advisor: Prof. Hans Böhringer

2002-2005: BSc, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Undergraduate studies in Physics and Geosciences and Astrophysics at the International University Bremen, Germany (now Jacobs University Bremen).
Bachelor Thesis: Magnetic Fields in Galaxy Clusters
Advisor: Prof. Marcus Brüggen

Awards and Grants

Observing time awarded as PI: 

  • Suzaku AO-7 and AO-8: Key Project to observe the outskirts of the Virgo Cluster (925 ks in total)
  • Suzaku AO-8: Observation of a shock front in the outskirts of the Coma Cluster (30~ks)
  • Suzaku AO-6: Large Project to observe the outskirts of the Coma Cluster (320 ks) and Key Project mosaic of Abell 2199 as US Co-PI together with Japanese PI K. Matsushita (400 ks)
  • Suzaku AO-3: Observation of gas sloshing in M87 (80 ks)
  • Chandra AO-17: Observation of the high-redshift jet associated with the quasar B3 0727+409 (130~ks, joint with 3h of VLA)
  • Chandra AO-16: Observation of Abell 585 (20~ks)
  • Chandra AO-13: Observation of the outskirts of the Perseus Cluster (150 ks)
  • XMM-Newton AO-10: Observation of the outskirts of the Perseus Cluster (16 ks)
  • ALMA Cycle 2: Observation of molecular gas in M87 (5.7h)
  • ALMA Cycle 3: Observation of the vicinity of the central supermassive black hole in NGC 4636 (6.3h)

Other NASA grants:

  • NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program 2012: program entitled Witnessing the Growth of the Nearest Galaxy Cluster, based on the Suzaku AO-7 and AO-8 Key Project data (see above).
  • NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program 2011: program entitled The Outskirts of Galaxy Clusters
  • Contributed as Co-I to numerous proposals which were awarded funding through NASA observing grants, among which: two Chandra X-ray Observatory grants for Large Programs in AO-13 and AO-14, four regular Guest Observer grants, and one archival proposal; one Suzaku Key Project observing grant in AO-5; one Herschel observing grant in OT-1.

Teaching and Science Outreach

Graduate courses:

Visiting Lecturer at University of Tokyo, teaching a special lecture in observational astronomy on the topic “Formation and Evolution of the Cosmic Web”, April – May 2017

Visiting Lecturer at Rikkyo University, Japan, teaching a class on “Extragalactic Astronomy” in November 2016.

Lecture notes available here.

PhD and Master Students:

Co-supervised the Master Thesis projects of three students at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, one at Stanford University, and one at JAXA.
Contributed to supervising three PhD students at Stanford University and two at JAXA/University of Tokyo who have graduated recently.

Media Outreach:

Involved in several ESA, NASA, and JAXA press releases, on topics such as: discovery of a distant X-ray jet from a supermassive black hole, the early mixing of iron into the intergalactic medium, the ongoing growth of the Perseus Cluster, activity of the supermassive central black hole in M87, and possible detection of a large-scale structure filament between the clusters Abell 222-223.

Gave numerous science outreach talks, including The Unseen and the Invisible Universe at TEDxBucharest in November 2012, and “The Cosmic Web” at the Tokyo Space Cafe in July 2017.

Awarded Person of the Year in December 2008 by the Romanian national daily newspaper Cotidianul.

On Forbes Romania‘s “30 under 30” list for 2013.

Included in the “New Europe 100” list of outstanding challengers
who are leading world-class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe, compiled by respublica, Google, the Visegrad Fund, and the Financial Times in 2015.

Service to the Scientific Community

  • Member of the Astro-H/Hitomi Science Working Group
  • Member of the NASA peer review panels for the Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope Target Allocation Committees
  • Refereed articles for ApJ, ApJ Letters, MNRAS, A&A, PASJ, and Nature
  • Served as co-organizer of the weekly Astrophysics Colloquia at KIPAC, Stanford University, as well as at ISAS/JAXA

Life Beyond Astrophysics

Photography:

Travel, Nature, Portrait, and Astrophotography. Works featured in four art exhibitions in Harajuku (Tokyo) and Yokohama, Japan. Portfolio available at: http://earthinpink.com/portfolio/

Ballroom dancing:

Member of the Stanford Ballroom Dance Team (September 2010–June 2013); Performance Coordinator of the Stanford Ballroom Dance Team from May 2012–June 2013

Debating:

President of the Munich Debating Club (August 2007 – August 2008). ESL finalist European Universities Debating Championships 2006, semifinalist German Debating Championships 2007, best speaker of the final Bremen Open 2007, Deputy Chief Adjudicator at the German Championships 2008

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