DAWN staff & students

The DAWN family comprises both permanent and temporary staff. At any time, some 40 local scientists and student are found at UCPH and DTU. In addition, we have around 10 affiliated scientists at various institutions around the world.

All staff and students are seen below in a random order. Use the filter buttons to look for specific groups, and click images for more details.

If you're a new DAWNer, you can check the wiki page on how to create your own profile.

DAWN staff & students

Steven Gillman

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research into the evolution of high-redshift galaxies. Member of JWST MIRI GTO HUDF Imaging Survey.
DAWN staff & students

Joonas Kari Markku Viuho

PhD student

Instrumentation, e.g. for the NOT Transient Explorer (NTE).
DAWN staff & students

Peter Laursen

Astrophysicist and science communicator

Lyman α radiative transferring, galaxy modeling, outreaching, webmastering, event coordinating, …
DAWN staff & students

Clara Giménez Arteaga

PhD Student

Galaxy evolution, spatially resolved observations, ISM, extinction & attenuation, imaging with HST.
DAWN staff & students

Allan Hornstrup

Associate professor

Head of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics and ass. prof. at the Cosmic Dawn Center, DTU Space.
DAWN staff & students

Iary Davidzon

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

SFR vs. stellar mass, U-V vs. V-J, observations vs. simulations, LAL vs. LAC, academia vs. life.
DAWN staff & students

Pascal Oesch

Associate Professor at U. Geneva

First galaxies; galaxy evolution; imaging & spectroscopy with HST, Spitzer, Keck, VLT, ALMA & NOEMA
DAWN staff & students

Malte Brinch

PhD student

Galaxy Evolution, Starburst Galaxies, Protoclusters of Galaxies, Submillimeter Astronomy, ISM, Dust,
DAWN staff & students

Gabriel Brammer

Associate Professor

Galaxy evolution with space telescopes.
DAWN staff & students

Thomas Greve

Center co-director

Associate professor of astronomy and center co-director.
DAWN staff & students

Sune Toft

Center director

Professor of Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics and center director of the Cosmic Dawn Center.
DAWN staff & students

Johan Fynbo

Full professor

I am a professor at the Cosmic Dawn Center at the Niels Bohr Institute. I work on galaxy formation,
DAWN staff & students

Francesca Rizzo

Dawn/Interactions Fellow

Galaxy evolution; Galaxy dynamics; Gravitational lensing
DAWN staff & students

Guarn Elizabeth Nissen

Senior coordinator

Senior coordinator at the Cosmic Dawn Center
DAWN staff & students

Peter Johannsen

Student Helper

Tasks include: website maintenance and keeping the kitchen clean.
DAWN staff & students

Kate Gould

PhD Student

Galaxy evolution, quenching, quiescent and post-starburst galaxies.
DAWN staff & students

Charlotte Mason

Associate Professor

Galaxy formation & evolution, Reionization, and the galaxy-dark matter connection in the early Unive
DAWN staff & students

Francesco Valentino

Assistant Professor

Galaxy evolution, star formation, and quenching. Carlsberg Fellow.
DAWN staff & students

Vadim Rusakov

PhD student

Galaxy assembly and quenching, stellar populations, general interest in machine learning tools.
DAWN staff & students

John R. Weaver

PhD Student

Galaxy evolution, assembly, and star-formation cessation. Catalog maker. Citizen science enthusiast.
DAWN staff & students

Kasper Elm Heintz

Post-doctoral researcher

DAWN staff & students

Georgios Magdis

Associate Professor

galaxy formation and evolution, observational cosmology, ISM
DAWN staff & students

Nina Bonaventura

post-doc

JWST/NIRSpec GTO Team member. Algorithms & scientific software dev. Galaxy formation & evolution.
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John Al Clubber

Galaxies

Georgios Magdis

Associate Professor

I am an associate professor of extragalactic astrophysics and co-founder of the Cosmic DAWN Center. Additionally, I am leading a research group, funded by my Villum Young Investigator and Villum Young Investigator PLUS grants, focusing on the study of galaxies across cosmic time and aiming to shed light on the formation, growth, and evolution of the building blocks of our Universe from the Big Bang to the present day. I specialise on deep multi-wavelength cosmological surveys with an emphasis on infrared/radio observations exploiting the best space telescopes and the most powerful ground-based astronomical facilities. You can find more by visiting my website.

Kate Gould

PhD Student

I am a PhD student working at the Cosmic Dawn Center advised by Gabriel Brammer. I currently study the formation and evolution of the most massive galaxies in the universe, using a combination of data from ground and space based telescopes across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. I received my Master’s in Astrophysics in 2020 from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where I worked with Vivienne Wild, measuring the morphologies of low z post-starburst galaxies.

Before deciding to study galaxies, I was interested in particle and astroparticle physics, and had fantastic opportunities to work on experimental projects relating to both cosmic rays and neutrinos at Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics and later CERN. I’ve also been lucky enough to do both cosmology and galaxy summer research projects at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation and the University of Oxford.

When I’m not doing research I enjoy powerlifting, growing plants, drawing, making music, exploring Copenhagen and playing video games (but not all at the same time!).  My pronouns are she/hers.

John R. Weaver

PhD Student

I am a PhD student based at the Cosmic Dawn Center advised by Sune Toft, with Peter Capak (IPAC), Henry McCracken (IAP), and Dave Sanders (IfA). I received my Masters degree in 2018 from the University of St Andrews advised by Vivienne Wild. My research focuses on the assembly and evolution of galaxies across the 1.37 billion year history of our Universe, through direct observation with optical and infrared telescopes from both space and from the ground. I am the leader of the COSMOS2020 galaxy catalogue, and a key contributor to the Cosmic Dawn Survey. Previously, I have interned as a summer researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for AstronomyLeiden Observatory, and the Maria Mitchell Observatory. I am also the project director of the spectroscopy database at the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Beyond academia, I am a frequent contributor to popular science publications, and have been a long-time volunteer at public observatories.
Copenhagen, DK
Python
80%
Photometry
90%
Spatially Resolved Spectroscopy
70%
Advanced Statistical Methods
60%

Gabriel Brammer

Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor at the Cosmic Dawn Center in the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. I received my PhD degree from Yale University in 2010, and prior to coming to DAWN I was a postdoctoral Fellow at the European Southern Observatory (Chile) and an ESA/AURA Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland (USA). I study the formation and evolution of galaxies across much of cosmic time, from relatively nearby massive, evolved objects to infant galaxies at the current limit of the observable Universe. I discover and characterize these objects by and exploiting large imaging and spectroscopic surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope, and I am helping to develop next-generation projects with the Guaranteed Time Observer and Early Release Science programs on the James Webb Space Telescope, due to be launched in 2021.

Francesca Rizzo

Dawn/Interactions Fellow

​ I am a Dawn/Interactions fellow at the Cosmic Dawn Center. I received my BCs (2013) and MSc (2016) at the University of Pisa and Bologna, respectively. In 2020, I received my PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Germany) under the supervision of Dr. Simona Vegetti and Prof. Simon White at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching (Germany). During my PhD I developed a tool that allows to use gravitational lensing for studying distant galaxies. I am interested in the ways in which galaxies form and evolve across cosmic time. In particular, my research focuses on galactic dynamics, that is the analysis of the motion of gas and/or stars within galaxies. Through this kind of study, I learn how different physical processes shaped the variety of galaxies that we observe today. You can find more about my research here. I have long been committed to diversity and acted to create an academic environment which is more inclusive and inviting towards different gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, and socioeconomically underprivileged groups. For this reason, I enjoy giving my contribution to public outreach events.

Vadim Rusakov

PhD student

My degree at the Cosmic Dawn Center is centered around topics in galaxy evolution, where I am advised by Charles Steinhardt. I am part of research into mechanisms driving the active and quiescent stages of high-redshift galaxies, which is motivated by a mismatch in theoretical predictions and observations of galaxy assembly in the early universe. I am also keen to work on computational problems in research. I received a Masters degree from the University of Surrey in 2019 studying galaxy evolution in the Local Group with Carme Gallart & Matteo Monelli, while spending part of my degree at the IAC (Canary islands), and a Masters degree from University College London in 2020 doing a project in computational astrophysics with Thomas Greve.

Nina Bonaventura

post-doc

I am a DAWN post-doc working with Dr. Peter Jakobsen on the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) onboard the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a joint mission of NASA and the European and Canadian Space Agencies.  As a member of the NIRSpec Guaranteed-Time Observer (GTO) Team, I participate in the development of algorithms and associated software to scientifically optimize and analyze observations taken in the NIRSpec Multi-object Spectroscopy (MOS) mode, as well as prepare for the scientific analysis of the MOS component of the GTO JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) campaign.  I am also involved in a number of additional studies of galaxy formation and evolution, which include the measurement and characterization of the optical, infrared, and X-ray emission of starlight, dust, and gas in intermediate to very high redshift galaxies; as well as the application of machine learning techniques to state-of-the-art mock galaxy observations to learn their dark matter distribution.
Copenhagen

Peter Johannsen

Student Helper

I am a third year bachelor student at the University of Copenhagen, currently writing my thesis. I am interested in condensed matter physics; specifically focussing on reflectometry of quantum dots at the moment. This March I started as the new student helper at DAWN, and my role is primarily overseeing the websites, but I will also be helping Guarn and Helena as much as I can, with different administrative tasks. In my free time I play disc golf and dedicate many hours to bouldering (when the halls are open that is). I’ve played the piano for many years and enjoy travelling through Europe on my bicycle.

Clara Giménez Arteaga

PhD Student

I am a PhD fellow at the Cosmic Dawn Center, advised by Gabriel Brammer. I am currently working on the effects of having spatially resolved observations when deriving the physical properties of galaxies, using recently obtained photometry from the Hubble Space Telescope. With high-resolution line emission maps of nearby galaxies, we can probe sites of ongoing star formation activity and dust reddening. In the coming future, I am particularly interested in extending this study to galaxies at high redshift with JWST.

Kasper Elm Heintz

Post-doctoral researcher

I am a post-doctoral researcher affiliated with the Cosmic Dawn Center and the University of Iceland, specialized in observational extragalactic astronomy. I received my PhD from the University of Iceland in 2019, with my thesis project mainly focusing on using gamma-ray bursts and quasars as cosmic probes to study the interstellar medium in high-redshift galaxies. Now, I mainly work on the optical counterparts and host galaxies of astronomical transients such as fast radio bursts and gravitational wave events, to better understand these extreme sources. Additionally, I develop new techniques to identity quasars based on the astrometric measurements of the Gaia satellite, to provide a more unbiased census of the quasar population and foreground absorption-line systems. The overarching goal of these projects is to study and track the chemical enrichment of galaxies through cosmic time. I am also involved in the development of a new instrument for the Nordic Optical Telescope as instrument scientist.

Francesco Valentino

Assistant Professor

I am an assistant professor and an observational astronomer based at the Cosmic Dawn Center. I study the evolution of massive galaxies from their initial formation epoch to the last stages of their lives by exploiting the capabilities of powerful telescopes covering the whole electromagnetic spectrum. I am particularly interested in how gas is transformed into stars and how galaxies stop growing and die, halting the formation of new stars. This is the core of my Galaxies: Rise And Death” (GRAD) project supported by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Steven Gillman

Postdoctoral Researcher

My research focuses on galaxy evolution and formation, in particular, understanding how high-redshift (z=1-2) star-forming galaxies have evolved into the grand-design spirals we see in the local Universe. This is achieved using a combination of high-resolution imaging and integral field spectroscopy to trace the dynamical motions of the ionized interstellar medium on ~kpc scales and quantify the galaxies morphology. Here at DTU Space, and as part of the Cosmic DAWN Center, my work focuses on preparation for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) MIRI GTO observations and the subsequent reduction and analysis of this data in years to come.

Iary Davidzon

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Astronomer (at present Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow) investigating galaxy evolution with optical and infra-red images but also with a foot into cosmological simulations. Love to follow the entire scientific process from data reduction to physical interpretation, but this works only in an ideal world. Strong opponent of "observer vs. theoretician" dichotomy and passionate advocate of inter-disciplinary studies (especially machine learning applications).

Fields of interest

In random order:
  • baryon-dark matter relationship in galaxy formation
  • galaxy quenching
  • large-scale galaxy environment
  • innovative methods for data mining and galaxy classification
  • innovative methods to measure/define galaxy physical/statistical properties

Johan Fynbo

Full professor

I am an astronomy professor based at the Cosmic Dawn Center at the Niels Bohr Institute. I received my master’s degree in 1998 and PhD degree in 2000 from the University of Aarhus advised by Bjarne Thomsen and Palle Møller. Before taking up my current position at the Niels Bohr Institute I worked at the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Germany. My research focuses on the assembly and evolution of galaxies across the history of the Universe, through direct observation with optical and infrared telescopes from both space and the ground. My particular interests are chemical evolution, quasar absorption line systems, and transient sources like gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, gravitational wave sources and fast radio bursts. I am also involved in the development of new instrumentation. I teach a range of courses in astronomy ranging from introductory astronomy courses to master level courses. In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus, I also teach a summer course in astronomical observations at the Nordic Optical Observatory on La Palma. Beyond academia, I am a frequent contributor to public outreach, I am vice chairman of the Danish Astronomical Society and I give many public talks on science.
Niels Bohr Building, Office 01.2.I.60

Malte Brinch

PhD student

I am a PhD student at DAWN DTU who formerly defended my MSc at KU, DAWN NBI. My thesis focuses on reverberation mapping of AGN, so as to use them as Distance measurements. As part of my PhD at DAWN, I am working with Thomas Greve on characterizing the dense molecular gas content in gravitationally lensed starburst and normal galaxies and relate these results to surveys of the dense interstellar medium in local galaxies, as well as locating and characterizing protoclusters in the COSMOS field.
DTU

Joonas Kari Markku Viuho

PhD student

I am a PhD student at the Cosmic Dawn Center advised by Johan Fynbo, and in addition I collaborate with him as a member of the NOT Transient Explorer (NTE) development team.    In my PhD, I will demonstrate performance of a new type of echelle spectrograph and its use for astronomical observations. I do this by characterizing the airglow continuum emission, or interline sky background, in the near-IR wavelengths observable with a CCD detector (down to ~1µm). This measurement is highly relevant for the future astronomical observation, especially, with the Extremely Large Telescope (ELTs) which will be solely sky limited.   Prior to joining the team at the Cosmic Dawn Center, I have completed a research studentship at the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) working with the development of NTE. I have graduated from an MSc program at the Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, where I designed and built the prototype spectrograph used in the PhD as my MSc thesis.

Charlotte Mason

Associate Professor

I am excited to join DAWN as an associate professor in 2021. I obtained my PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, in 2018, after which I moved to the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian as a NASA Hubble Fellow and CfA Fellow. I work at the intersection of theory and observations, focusing on galaxy formation and evolution, and the galaxy - dark matter connection, in the early Universe. My research combines theoretical models and simulations with statistical analysis to interpret observations of galaxies. In particular, I have focused on finding new ways to measure the process of hydrogen reionization - the Universe’s final phase transition, which ended approximately one billion years after the Big Bang and was likely caused by the very first stars and galaxies. By understanding how reionization occurred we can infer the properties of the universe’s first galaxies, which are probably too rare and faint to detect directly. I am involved with (mostly near-IR) observations from our largest telescopes in space and on the ground: Hubble, VLT, Keck, and MMT, and I am excited to be among the first users of the James Webb Space Telescope in a Early Release Science program to observe the earliest galaxies.

Pascal Oesch

Associate Professor at U. Geneva

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Geneva, where I lead a research group “Galaxy Build-up at Cosmic Dawn”. Additionally, I was an International Associate of the Cosmic Dawn Centre from the beginning. I am excited to now officially join DAWN as an Associate Professor as well. I obtained my PhD in 2010 from ETH Zurich, after which I moved to UC Santa Cruz as a Hubble Fellow (2010-2013) and then to Yale as a YCAA Fellow (2013-2016). My research is focused on understanding the build-up and assembly of the first generations of galaxies based on panchromatic observations. In particular, I use very deep imaging and spectroscopy from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, in addition to ground-based follow-up with Keck, VLT, ALMA, and NOEMA. This allows us to trace the galaxy mass build-up out to z~11, when the Universe was only ~400 Myr old, where we have found the most distant galaxy known so far: GN-z11. I am looking forward to exploit the upcoming, revolutionary data from JWST to expand our cosmic frontier even further and to study lots of GN-z11 analogues from the deep, wide-area imaging to be obtained with ESA/Euclid.

Allan Hornstrup

Associate professor

My interests are focused on cosmology, including the large scale structure of the universe; on space instrumentation and space research in general.  I also fancy exoplanetary studies, including the search for extraterrestrial life.  I enjoy physics, teaching, public outreach and management. In cosmology, I have studied clusters of galaxies in general (the content) and in particular worked on using clusters of galaxies for cosmological purposes e.g. through the cluster development with time. Since 2007, I have been head of astrophysics at DTU Space and later included atmospheric physics. The group has grown from about a dozen to now almost 60 scientists and technicians.  I hold a MSc in astrophysics, a PhD in technical physics and an executive MBA.
Building 327, room 205

Thomas Greve

Center co-director

I am an Associate Professor at the National Space Institute of Denmark, where I am heading the Cosmic Dawn Center.  I obtained my PhD in 2005 from the Institute for Astronomy Edinburgh.  I am currently on leave of absence from University College London where I have been an associate professor since 2012. Prior to that I have held research positions at the California Institute of Technology and the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy. My research deals with the origin and evolution of massive galaxies. I study them using radio and optical telescopes on the ground and in space. Interfacing with numerical simulations is an important part of this work. I enjoy teaching, supervising students, as well as public outreach. I am extremely proud and excited to have established the Cosmic Dawn Center together with an amazing group of colleagues and friends.  What started out as a dream is now an actual research center brimming with fantastic scientists, administrators, and students.
DTU, Building 327, room 208

Guarn Elizabeth Nissen

Senior coordinator

Providing administrative support to enable and enhance groundbreaking scientific research for DAWN and our collaborating partners is very exciting. With focus on creating and maintaining a scientific and social environment that encourages innovative thinking and well-being, I enjoy witnessing scientific discoveries. I have held the position of Coordinator for the Genotoxic Stress Center of Excellence (GSC) at the Danish Cancer Society. Like DAWN, GSC was also primarily funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF). I have a BcS degree from Fontbonne University in St. Louis MO.
NBB, Jagtvej 128, Tower I, 2nd Fl.

Peter Laursen

Astrophysicist and science communicator

I am an astrophysicist and science communicator.

At DAWN, my tasks include communicating our science to the public, arranging workshops, coordinating other scientific activities, maintaining our website, as well as conducting my own research.

My research focuses on galaxies, in particular the light coming from processes that have to do with galaxy formation. I use computer simulations to predict and interpret "real" observations. More specifically, I use hydrodynamical simulations with (Monte Carlo) Lyman α radiative transfer.

After my PhD I was a postdoc at the Oskar Klein Centre (U. of Stockholm), the Dark Cosmology Centre (U. of Copenhagen), and the Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy section (U. of Oslo).

You can find out more about me, my research, and my outreach activities on my personal website.

NBB, office 01.2.I.044

Sune Toft

Center director

I am a professor of Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute. I received my BSc (1998), MSc (2000) and PhD (2003) degrees from the Niels Bohr Institute, under supervision of Jens Hjorth.

I spent 5 years abroad as a postdoctoral research associate at Yale University (with Pieter van Dokkum) and an independent ESO fellow at the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Germany. Since 2009 I have led a research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, funded by a Lundbeck Junior Group Leader fellowship (2009-2014) an ERC consolidator grant (2015-2020), and a DNRF center of excellence grant (2018-2024).

My research focuses on the understanding the cosmic origin and evolution of galaxies, primarily through observations with the largest ground and space-based observatories. I am part of several major international research teams, including COSMOS (member of the Scientific Steering Committee), Euclid (Co-lead of the Primeval Universe Working Group), Ultravista (core-member), Hawaii-Two-0 (CoI), Euclid/WFIRST Spitzer Legacy Survey (CoI), BUFFALO (CoI), RELICS (CoI), ALPINE (CoI).

Since 2009 I have taught the undergraduate course “Cosmology”, and supervised postdoc and student research projects on all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD).