I work within the AGN team in high-energy group at the MPE. In addition to a formal supervisor (often director Prof. Kirpal Nandra), there is one primary day-to-day post-doc advisor for each student. In addition, the post-docs (Mara Salvato, Andrea Merloni, Arne Rau, myself) co-advise as a team.

Here are former and current team members I worked with:

  • Isabelle Gauger (Astro PhD)
  • William Roster (Astro/ML PhD)
  • Sophia Waddell (Astro PhD)
  • Teng Liu (Astro PostDoc, now Prof at USTC)
  • Zsofi Igo (Astro PhD)
  • Catarina Aydar (Astro PhD)
  • Linda Baronchelli (Astro PhD, graduated, moved to IT)
  • Adam Malyali (Astro PhD, graduated, moved to IT)
  • Riccardo Arcodia (Astro PhD, graduated, moved to Hubble fellow at MIT)
  • David Bogensberger (Astro PhD, graduated, moved to postdoc at Michigan University)
  • Julien Wolf (Astro PhD, graduated, moved to postdoc at MPIA)
  • Nicolas Lopez (Astro Master, graduated)
  • Aman Saxena (minijob during CS Master)
  • Shashwat Tiwari (minijob during CS Master)
  • Thomas Seegers (1 week intern as a highschool student)

Work with me

If you are interested to work with me, get in touch.

I always have challenging problems that I need help with, whether your interests and strengths lie in astronomy, programming, machine learning.

Potential Project ideas

  • eROSITA survey, spectral indicators: Develop a fast indicator for obscuration and AGN luminosity from eROSITA X-ray spectra.
    Ideal for mini-job or BSc. Prerequisites: none, interest in AGN obscuration.
  • eROSITA survey, south ecliptic pole light curves: Infer the power spectrum of individual Active Galactic Nuclei from well-sampled, but low count (Poisson) data. Needs development and testing of based on machine learning or hierarchical Bayesian models.
    Ideal for BSc or MSc. Prerequisites: interest in methodology.
  • eROSITA quasar host galaxies: Improve our understanding of galaxies that create quasars, by extending a world-leading multi-wavelength photometry analysis technique with either spectroscopy from SDSS or spatial radial profile information. Data and demo code are already available.
    Ideal for BSc, MSc, PhD. Prerequisites: astronomy interest.
  • Accelerate Slice Nested Sampling: follow-up of this paper, study either the impact of starting point picking, initial slice length tuning, testing on realistic inference problems (already available).
    Ideal for BSc or MSc in CS or statistics. Prerequisites: programming skills.
  • eROSITA quasar host galaxy population: Learn which galaxies undergo the quasar phase, and which quasars are predominantly detected by eROSITA. Refine the assumptions of our multi-wavelength photometry analysis technique, by assuming that some quasar or galaxy parameters are uniform across the eROSITA sample.
    Ideal for BSc, MSc. Prerequisites: astronomy, interest in AGN demographics
  • ...


It is possible to get a mini-job (1 day per week, in-person) in our group to help out with small tasks (visualisations, programming). This also lets you get familiar with a research environment.

BSc and MSc thesis need a primary/formal advisor from your University, we have some at MPE that can take the role.

Our PhD positions are managed through the International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics, so you are encouraged to apply there directly. The applications are quite competitive, so it would be good if you can demonstrate being able to handle astronomical data and programming skills with small projects like the ones above.

Alternative doctoral funding schemes, for funding your own position: DAAD doctoral scholarships

PostDoc fellowship MSCA fellowship, Humboldt fellowship ERC synergy grant