I am an astrophysics researcher at the
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
(MPE), in Garching, Munich. I have been working within
the high energy group since October 2009,
predominantly on gamma-ray burst (GRB) research, and
within the GROND team. My research interests include GRBs and their host galaxies, stellar and galaxye evolution, GRB and QSO-DLAs, and properties of the ISM at high-z. In December 2012 I was awarded a 5-year Alexander von Humboldt Sofja Kovalewskaja Award to build up my own research group to investigate the properties of GRB host galaxies and their relation to other star forming galaxy populations. Currently the group is made up of myself, two PhD students and two postdocs. Further details on the research carried out by each member of the group can be found
A causal connection between long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and massive star formation is now well established, and their immensely bright afterglows therefore pinpoint regions of distant star formation independent of galaxy luminosity. Moreover, they are followed by a luminous broadband afterglow produced by synchrotron emission, and therefore have extremely simple spectra on which the imprint from attenuating material within the host galaxy can be studied in detail. GRB afterglow observations thus offer a truly unique view of the interstellar medium (ISM) within star forming galaxies, and much of my work has involved the analysis of their broadband spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to study their host galaxies, and the properties of GRBs themselves.