I am an astrophysicist working to understand our place in the Universe. My research primarily focuses on the atmospheres, interiors, and formation mechanisms of both exoplanets and the planets within our Solar System. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was always curious and knew I was going to be a scientist. I pursued my B.S. in Astronomy from La Plata National University, graduating in 2007. My doctoral work, completed in 2011, revolved around the formation of planetary systems, and I was honored to be supported by the CONICET during this period. My postdoc years took me to the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (2011-2014), where I delved into exoplanetary atmospheric chemistry. From 2015 to 2017, I was at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur with a H. Poincare and later a CNES fellowship, where I studied giant planets’ interiors and started my journey as part of the Juno mission science team. In 2018, I accepted a position as an assistant professor at Leiden Observatory. Further expanding my research horizons, I also affiliated with SRON in 2020. My work at both institutions has been centered around the intricate study of (exo)planetary atmospheres and interiors, aiming to provide a more comprehensive understanding of planetary evolution and origins. I am also proud to mention that since 2023, I have been the Principal Investigator for the ERC consolidator grant N-GINE.
Research Interests: Exploring (Exo)Planet Interiors and Atmospheres
Humankind has long been captivated by the existence of worlds beyond our own. Now, in this pivotal era, we’ve identified over 5000 exoplanets, each revealing the astounding diversity of planetary conditions and reshaping our understanding of the cosmos. My research delves deep into the intricacies of exoplanet interiors and atmospheres, as well as the giants within our own solar system. By doing so, I aim to unravel the mysteries of how planetary systems—and potentially life-supporting conditions—are formed. Dive into some highlights and updates from my research journey below.
Teaching: I see teaching as a challenge and a way of learning. One needs to learn how to use student’s backgrounds, and lead them to develop curiosity and critical thinking. I have been teaching assistant from 2005 until 2011, and started as a lecturer in 2018. I taught “Stellar Structure and Evolution” a course for master students in 2018 and 2019 and developed the course “Exoplanets A: Interiors and Atmospheres” for master students at Leiden Observatory in 2020.
Outreach: One important part of my development as a scientist has been to stimulate interest and curiosity for science, sharing my research with the community and inspiring future scientists. I have presented more than 50 invited public colloquia and have been involved in numerous public activies since 2000. Some highlights:
2022: Science and Cocktails talk., with 300 people, at Paradiso, Amsterdam Watch it here.
2021: Talk for the LWSK (amateur club).
2021: Talk for the amateur club “Euroster” of Rotterdam.
2020: Outreach talk on Characterisation of Exoplanets for the program “Universiteit van Nederland” (recorded in a TV studio in MediaPark Hilversum). Watch it here.
2020: Public talk at the Pale Blue Dot Symposium. Webpage
2018: TEDx RiodelaPlata speaker, with more than 2500 people(!), at Colon theater, Buenos Aires Argentina. Watch it here (in Spanish).
2018: Member of the collaborators team of “Ciencia del Sur” - a website for science outreach in latinamerica.
I swim since I am a kid, started running about 7 years ago, and recently added biking and bouldering to my list of frequent sports. I now combine all that -all but bouldering- and train for triathlons.
Why? Because doing sports is good! It is not only good for your health, but it also helps to release stress, to improve efficiency, and to have a fresher mind at work. It helps you solving problems.
In cold rainy days it can be hard to go outside and train. To keep myself on check on such days, I always setup a goal (often a competition I want to run), which besides of being super fun, keeps my motivation high :)
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands