Johannes Buchner

"It is important to develop time management and self-motivation skills"

June 28, 2021
Johannes Buchner

My name is Johannes Buchner. I am a post-doctoral researcher, originally from Salzburg, Austria. I was curious about modern physics, and explored computers and programming in school (HTBLA for electronics). I chose to study astronomy at the University of Vienna in parallel to computer science at the TU Vienna. From that time onwards, I always studied the two fields, and also developed an interest in statistics. Sticking with the academic path long enough I became an expert in computational and inference methods in astronomy (astroinformatics and astrostatistics), which I apply to a wide variety of interesting astrophysics questions, related to gamma-ray bursts, the evolution of super-massive black holes and exoplanets.

I am excited about supermassive black holes that sit in the centers of galaxies and lunch on nearby material. They are mysterious, exotic objects and we know quite little about where they come from and how they alter their host galaxies. This is where I try to gain some insights with eROSITA and multi-wavelength data. eROSITA is extremely good at finding the most rapidly growing black holes, which may have the biggest impact on their galaxies. It already identified millions of these. I work on separating the instrument limitations (missing faint sources, noisy data) from what we can say about the population, including their growth over cosmic time and the very unstable, violent inflows. I enjoy developing modern data analyses techniques towards these goals.

In the future beyond eROSITA lies the next large mission, Athena. With extremely sensitive instruments, it will be able to find black holes in the early Universe, and hopefully be able to tell us something about their origin. I am chairing a scientific working group which characterizes the capabilities of Athena and scientific outcomes of surveys in ~2035.

Working as a scientist requires meeting strict delivery deadlines and getting things done. Therefore, it is important to develop time management and self-motivation skills. In the long run, diligence and programming skills pay off manifold.

However, science is not everything. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, hiking, swimming, and juggling.

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