I am an astrophysicist and planetary scientist researching small bodies in the Solar System. Between 2018 and 2021 I was a Research Fellow at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Garching, Germany. In 2018, I completed my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany and The Open University in Milton Keynes in the UK.
I use ground photometric observations to study the physical properties and surface characteristics of comets, Trans-Neptunian objects and other related minor-planet populations in the Solar system. These objects have the potential to reveal many important details of the formation and subsequent evolution of the Solar system. However, extracting this important information requires a multidisciplinary approach with contributions from observers, modelers and theoreticians. This motivated me to innitiate an international collaboration “The life cycle of comets” which has been funded within the ISSI International Team framework.
In addition to my main focus on telescope observations, I am contributing to the development of upcoming space missions. I am part of ESA’s Comet Interceptor team where I serve as a Nuncleus science theme deputy coordinator. Comet Interceptor will be the first space mission to visit a long-period comet (or possibly even an interstellar object). I recently joined the Investigation team of the planetary defense missions DART (by NASA) and HERA (by ESA) to the binary asteroid Didymos in order to help with the characterisation of the mission target.
If you’re interested to know more about me and my path in astronomy, you can read this recent piece from the ESO Messenger.