I am a Professor at the Kapteyn Institute at the University of Groningen, From  2011 until 2016 I have been its (Scientific) Director. From 2017 until 2020 I was the education director of the Master Astronomy. I study the formation and evolution of galaxies, by studying their structure, kinematics and stellar populations. At the moment, I my research is mostly focused on studying dwarf galaxies in the nearby Universe, but I am also very interested in working on new techniques to better study the galaxy population.

Kapteyn Institute

The Kapteyn Institute is one of the appr. 10 research institutes of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMNS, FWN) at the University of Groningen. Its mission is to do research in astronomy, and to be responsible for the astronomy teaching at the University. Together with Leiden we are the only University in the Netherlands offering a bachelor in astronomy. We also offer a master program in astronomy. We have a large PhD programme with more than 50 PhD students. The Kapteyn Institute is one of the 4 partners in NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy.

See here for my updated list of publications.

Recent News

July 2021: Our paper on Ultra Compact Dwarfs in the Fornax Cluster was published by MNRAS. This paper is led by my PhD student Teymoor Saifollahi.

July 2021: Our paper simulating the formation of the dwarf irregular NGC 1427A in the Fornax Cluster appeared in MNRAS. The main author of this paper is Michele Mastropietro, a SUNDIAL PhD student at the University of Gent.

May 2021: First light at the Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer telescope.

May 2021: The website of the programme 'Donkerte van de Wadden' is on-line! This is a programme to create awareness for darkness in the North of the Netherlands.

May 2021: A paper on the origin of spiral features in dwarf elliptical galaxies was published. This is led by Rory Smith (KASI, Korea) and Josefina Michea, a PhD Student in Heidelberg, and shows that dwarfs falling into a cluster can start developing spiral structure, induced by the interaction with the Intra Cluster Medium.

May 2021: A paper, led by my colleague Ariane Lancon (Strasbourg) came out on the XSL spectra, and the stellar parameters of the XSL stars. We are getting there! The second data release of XSL has just been published, and the third and final release, with the stellar population models, are expected for later in 2021.

April 2021: The paper by my PhD student Teymoor Saifollahi on a recount of the number of Globular Clusters in the UDG (Ultra Diffuse Galaxy) DF44 is out in MNRAS. This means that the dark halo mass of this galaxy is much smaller than previously claimed, and that UDGs are most likely just the tail of the large dwarf galaxies. Press releases appeared in  astronomie.nl,   Groningen University, and in many placed (e.g. youtube, Science Alert).    A popular version appeared in the January issue of Zenit.  See also it's translation into English.
April 2021: Three papers on gas (HI and CO) in the Fornax Cluster in which I am involved. A paper by Kleiner et al. (A&A) on HI gas in the Fornax A group and pre-processing, using the new MeerKAT telescope in South Africa. A paper by Loni et al. on a shallower ATCA HI survey of the whole Fornax Cluster (A&A), and a paper by Zabel et al. (MNRAS) on CO and very low dust to gas ratios in the Fornax Cluster.

March 2021: A paper on detailed morphological analysis of all dwarf galaxies in the Fornax Cluster was published by Alan Su,SUNDIAL PhD student at the University of Oulu in A&A.A detailed comparison is made between inner and outer parts of the cluster, and the Fornax A group.

January 2021: A paper is published in A&A comparing the source detection code MTO (Teeninga et al. 2016) with other codes, such as SExtractor, which are popular in the literature. The main author, Caroline Haigh, is a SUNDIAL student working on a PhD in galaxy detection methods.

May 1, 2020: PhD Defense of my PhD Student Elaheh Hamraz, with a PhD titled 'A comprehensive study of the color distributions of dwarf early-type galaxies'.

Feb 24, 2020: PhD Defense of my PhD Student Seyda Sen, with a PhD titled 'Detailed stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies'

March 29, 2019: PhD Defense of my PhD Student Aku Venhola, with a PhD titled 'Evolution of dwarf galaxies in the Fornax Cluster'