My research focusses on star and planet formation, two fundamental processes in astrophysics which are coupled to each other by the so-called protoplanetary disc. Stars form from the collapse of clouds of dust and gas, which generally rotate. As a result of the rotational energy of the clouds, the collapse inevitably forms a disc of material around the new-born star. This disc of dust and gas is called a protoplanetary disc and contains all the material from which planets are later formed. The young star emits radiation which influences the disc and therefore also the planet formation process. I find this star-disc-planet connection particuarly fascinating, as I believe it holds the key to understanding the diversity of exoplanets that are currently being discovered.
Here you can find my published articles
I am the leader of a Research Unit awarded by the German Science Foundation to study "Transition Discs as witnesses and probes of planet formation". Our website contains more information about this fascinating class of objects and the research we are carrying out in this context.