DAWN Newsletter

March 2024

Meet the DAWN International Associates!


Katherine E. Whitaker (Kate) is an Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an international associate faculty member at the Cosmic Dawn Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was a 2019 Alfred P. Sloan fellow and 2023 Kavli Fellow. Whitaker completed her undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst in 2005, after which point she earned her PhD in Astronomy at Yale University in 2012.

Whitaker was a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center from 2012-2015 and then brought a NASA Hubble Fellowship to UMass Amherst from 2015-2017. She was an Assistant Professor at UConn 2017-2019, later moving back to UMass in 2019. As an observational extragalactic astronomer, Whitaker studies massive galaxy formation and evolution over cosmic time using premier telescopes, with a focus quenching. She also runs the DAWN IRES Scholars Program, bringing cohorts of US students to Copenhagen for summer internships.


Desika Narayanan is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida, and studies the physics of the interstellar medium in galaxies near, and far, via large-scale numerical simulations.

Outside of astronomy, he's really into running, surfing, snowboarding, and playing hockey.  His greatest academic achievement is making this totally awesome image for this poster at DAWN.



Karina Caputi is Professor of Observational Cosmology and High-Redshift Galaxies at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen. She studies multiple aspects of galaxy evolution in the first half of cosmic time, using multi-wavelength data and especially infrared surveys.

Currently, her research is focused on the scientific exploitation of JWST data and towards the analysis of forthcoming Euclid data.

Kristian Finlator fell in love with astronomy in an undergraduate survey course with Prof. Gillian Knapp. Finlator did his PhD in extragalactic theory with Prof. Romeel Davé a the University of Arizona. There Finlator also met an observer named Moire Prescott who, like him, enjoys quoting Oscar Wilde and plays a stringed instrument. They married and had their first son during a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara. They then moved to Copenhagen as Dark Fellows, where they learned Danish, ate pastries almost daily, lost weight, and had their second son. Finally, they moved back to the desert to take up faculty appointments here at NMSU (and have our third son).


Finlator works with extragalactic theory and has published or supervised papers on galaxy metallicities, dust, the intergalactic medium, the circumgalactic medium, and HI reionization. His most recent new interest is in the strong HI damping wings that Prof. Heintz has discovered in JWST data. Inspired by the realization that these are predicted in cosmological simulations and that they connect galaxies with reionization in a new way, Finlator led a successful JWST Cycle 3 theory grant to model and interpret them in more detail. He looks forward to continued collaboration with DAWN personnel on this and other problems.


Luis Colina is a research professor at the Center for Astrobiology (CAB), near Madrid. He has had the privilege of developing most of his professional career in connection with the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes. Since the very early (pre-HST launch) days, first as an ESA Young Graduate at ESTEC, then as a postdoc at STScI, and later as ESA HST astronomer. After coming back to Spain, Luis became a member of the European consortium (EC) that developed the James Webb Mid-IR Instrument (MIRI), as Spanish PI and European coPI. He is still very much involved with JWST and MIRI, co-chairing the EC high-z GTO team, and being a member of the low-z galaxies group.

Colina is married and has two grown-up children. Living outside Madrid, he likes trekking and hiking in the mountains near home and elsewhere. Also traveling around the globe is an activity that Colina enjoys very much, and he is always open to suggestions for the next trip.

Claudia Lagos is a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia and she is an international Associate at the Cosmic Dawn Center. Lagos received her PhD degree from Durham University in 2013, and prior to coming to her current position she was a Research Fellow at the European Southern Observatory (Germany) and then a Discovery Early Career Researcher at ICRAR/UWA (Australia).

Lagos' research involves studying galaxy formation and evolution using state-of-the-art cosmological simulations of galaxy formation and large galaxy surveys. She is the main developer of the new Shark semi-analytic model of galaxy formation and one of the members of the EAGLE Simulations collaboration. Lagos is also a member of several galaxy surveys including several being carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and the future 4MOST instrument at Paranal, Chile.

caitlin casey

Caitlin M. Casey is an associate professor at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas in Austin. Casey studies galaxy formation and evolution, from the earliest times after the Big Bang to the present day.  She is particularly interested in the most massive and luminous galaxies in the Universe. Massive galaxies --- galaxies more massive than the Milky Way, yet formed more than ~10 billion years ago --- are rare, and therefore require large surveys to find them.

Casey is one of the principal investigators of COSMOS and COSMOS-Web Surveys, both large-area surveys several times the area of the moon on the sky, designed at taking census of rare systems in the early Universe.


PhD Defense by Malte Brinch!

On Monday, 11 March 2024, Malte Brinch successfully defended his PhD Thesis at DAWN at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Big congratulations from all at DAWN.

The PhD Committe included: Supervisor Thomas Greve and Co-supervisor Georgios Magdis.

The Evaluation Committe included: Lars Astrup Buchhave, DTU Space, Nina Hatch, University of Nottingham, UK, and Helmut Dannerbauer, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain.


Photo credit: DAWN


Aswin Vijayan has accepted a new Postdoc position at the University of Sussex


Photo credit: Thomas Greve

In March we said goodbye to DAWN Fellow Aswin Vijayan.

Aswin has taken up a position as a postdoctoral researcher in the FLARES group at the University of Sussex. Aswin has been a fantastic colleague at DAWN  and we will miss him very much.

Good luck with your next chapter Aswin and hopefully we will see you soon again!

Upcoming Events

♦ Cake Talks (ongoing) See the schedule here
♦ DAWN SUMMIT 2024 15-17 Apr Website for the Summit
♦ Forskningens Døgn (Danish Science Festival) 2024 22-26 Apr Read more here
♦ DAWN Day (Chair: Kimi C. Kreilgaard) 08 May See the agenda in this link (Teams Group)
♦ KU Festival 2024 31 May Read more here
♦ KIF Annual Meeting 2024 04 Jun Read more here and sign up

Upcoming Guests

Alessio Mei (Gran Sasso Science Institute) 26 Jan 26 Apr
Christopher Conselice (University of Manchester) 08 Apr 10 Apr
Stephen Eales (Cardiff University) 08 Apr 10 Apr
Negin Khosravaninezhad (DAWN-Intern, UC Riverside) 02 Apr 30 Jun
Aurélien Genin (the École Polytechnique de Paris) 02 Apr 16 Aug
Olivia Cooper (Unviersity of Texas-Austin) 10 Apr 31 Jul
Dan Coe (Space Telescope Science Institute) 22 Apr 24 Apr
Matthieu Musy (ENSTA Bretagne) 06 May 30 Aug
38 x Guests / JADES meeting - Peter Jakobsen 15 Apr 17 Apr

Astronomy on TAP talk by Alessio Mei


On Friday, 08 March 2024, Alessio Mei gave a wonderful talk about Gammy-ray bursts: the best fireworks you will ever see.

It was this season's first talk at Astronomy on TAP!

Photo credit: Astronomy on TAP



Outreach at the "Observatoriet i Brorfelde"

On Monday, 26 March 2024, Kasper Elm Heintz gave a public lecture on the 'hunt' and study of the first galaxies with JWST at the 'Obsveratoriet i Brorfelde'.

The participants were also lucky to receive brand new information on discoveries that soon will be published!


Photo credit: Kasper Elm Heintz


Photo credit: Zarko Ivetic


♦ Webinar: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship applications in Horizon Europe 11 Apr Read more and sign up here
♦ STScI’s Annual Spring Symposium 15-19 Apr Link is here
♦ Science with the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes VII: Stars, Gas & Dust in the Universe, Porto 29 Apr - 02 May Link is here
♦ The importance of involving students in modeling practices in physics (NBI) 07 May Read more and sign up here
♦ Conference: First Stars VII, CCA at the Flatiron Institute in New York 20-24 May Link is here
♦ ADAM 2024, Roskilde 22-23 May Link is here
♦ Conference: "The physical processes shaping the stellar and gaseous histories of galaxies" - Pisa, Italy 27-31 May Link is here
♦ Webinar: Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Master Class 11 Jun Link is here
♦ The Line Intensity Mapping 2024 meeting, University of Illinois 12-14 Jun Link is here
♦ Conference "Galaxy Groups in the era of eROSITA and Euclid: a multiwavelength view”, Sesto 01-05 Jul Link is here
♦ Special Session SS8 at EAS2024, Padova, Italy 02 Jul Link is here
♦ Special Session SS12 at EAS2024, Padova, Italy 04 Jul Link is here
♦ Special Session 2, SS2 at EAS2024, Padova, Italy 05 Jul Link is here
♦ IAU Symposium #391: The first chapters of our cosmic history with JWST, Cape Town 06-09 Aug Read more here
♦ Workshop: The Edinburgh-DAWN Workshop (Copenhagen) 26-28 Aug TBD
♦ Conference: Black Holes Inside and Out (Copenhagen) 26-30 Aug Read more here
♦ AGN Feedback and Star Formation Across Cosmic Scales and Time, Italy 02-06 Sep Read more here
♦ Workshop: ‘’Kochel CLAW" in Schloss Aspenstein, Kochelsee, Germany 30 Sep - 04 Oct Read more here
♦ VILLUM Foundation: Young Investigator 06 Jun DTU link UCPH link
♦ DFF: Project 1 17 Apr DTU link UCPH link
♦ DFF: Project 1 (Inge Lehmann-programme) 18 Jun DTU link UCPH link
♦ VILLUM Foundation: Villum Investigators 21 Aug DTU link UCPH link

Danish Traditions & Culture

Cherry Blossom Trees and Sakura in April in Copenhagen


Copenhagen Sakura Festival - Bispebjerg Kirkegård

In locations around Copenhagen there are many of the beautiful pink and white Cherry Blossoms Trees planted and they usually blossom in April. The trees are beautiful and they only blossom for a short time once a year.

A must see!

Cherry blossoms in Langelinie Park | WannaBeEverywhere



There are traditional and open spots at e.g. Kastellet, Langelinie at Østerbro to view the trees.

Find more about locations here and read more about Copenhagen Sakura Festival here.


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