Lund Observatory

Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics

Stellar Population team at Lund Observatory

Research team

My research team consists of close collaborators at Lund Observatory as well as collegues in Europe, the US and Australia. The core of the stellar population team in Lund consists of Thomas Bensby (expert in high-resolution spectroscopy and PI for one of the 4MOST surveys), Ross Church (expert in stellar evolution), Gregor Traven (postdoc, expert on studies of the binary populations in the Milky Way, he also work on infrastructure tasks in 4MOST), Christian Sahlholdt (PhD student, working on age determinations of stars and stellar population studies), Fan Liu (postdoc, expert on high precision abundance analysis of solar type stars, he is also involved in PLATO), Dominic Ford (postdoc and programmer, working on 4MOST abundance pipeline for stellar spectra).

In Lund we work closely with Lennart Lindegren (expert in astrometry and proposer of Gaia), Paul McMillan (expert in dynamical modelling of the Milky Way), and Nils Ryde (expert in high-resolution spectroscopic studies making use of near-infrared wavelength regime).

Nationally we collaborate with in Uppsala: Paul Barklem, Bengt Edvardsson, Bengt Gustafsson, Andreas Korn, Ulrike Heiter, and Nik Piskunov. And in Stockholm: Arjan Bik, Alexis Brandeker, and Göran Östlin.

Internationally we are members of several large collaborations include 4MOST, WEAVE, PLATO, and the Gaia-ESO survey. More information about these projects is available unde Research.

Former team members

Louise Howes, postdoc (2015 - 2018)

Louise holds a PhD from the Australian National University. Her PhD focused on finding the first stars in the Galactic Bulge using SkyMapper data and follow-up studies with high-resolution spectroscopy. Whilst in Lund Louise worked on stellar population studies as well as on methods of determining ages from photometry combined with Gaia parallaxes. She was also heavily involved in development work for the Galactic surveys with 4MOST as well as other infrastructure work for the survey (especially the helpdesk definition and initiation).

Pieter Gruyters, postdoc (2015 - 2017)

Pieter holds a PhD from Uppsala University. Whilst in Lund he worked in the SAGA project with myself and Luca Casagrande, who is the PI of SAGA.

Ingemar Lundström

Ingemar Lundström, lecturer, was for many years a close collaborator. His deep expertise in Strömgren photometry was essential to the revival of this photometric system that started with our work on several dwarf spheroidal galaxies and have now resulted in the SAGA project, led by Luca Casagrande.

Edita Stonkute, postdoc (2014 - 2016)

Edita holds a PhD from University of Vilnius. In her thesis she determined the elemental abundance profile of several moving groups. Such data is useful in order to understand how likely it is that a group is the result of dissolved cluster or the result of dynamical processes in the Milky Way disk. Whilst in Lund Edita became heavily involved in determineing the selection function for the Gaia-ESO Survey and together with Ross Church we began a project on modelling the binary stellar populations in the Milky Way, with a first application to data from the APOGEE survey which has excellent temporal coverage. Our collaboration continues.

Gregory Ruchti, postdoc (2012 - 2016)

Greg holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, US, where he was supervised by Rosie Wyse. His PhD dealt with studies of the thick disk based. He came to Lund from MPA in Garching where he worked in Martin Asplund’s group. During his years at MPA he work closely with Maria Bergemann and Karin Lind on projects related to NLTE analysis of stellar spectra. These collabortions continued whilst in Lund, not the least inside the Gaia-ESO Survey where Greg, Maria and Karin lead much of the Lumba effort of the spectral analsysis. In a work led by Greg we developed the SWOC tool to better understand the impact of choices to made on wavelength ranges for stellar spectrographs. This tool was employed in the optimization of the 4MOST wavelength coverage. Greg now works at Veracity. Here is a link to an article by Greg about leaving the ivory tower.

Cheng Liu, PhD student (2012 - 2016)

Thesis: The nature of stars with a common origin: clues from metallicity, elemental abundances, and kinematics. After his PhD Cheng has moved to a fellowship at LAMOST.

Daniel Adén, PhD student (2007 - 2011), postdoc (2011 - 2012)

Thesis: A study of the Hercules dwarf spheroidal galaxy. After a year as a postdoc with us working on tests for the Gaia-ESO Survey Daniel decided to look for a job in industry, where he has a prosperous career.

Chiara Battistini, PhD student (2010 - 2015)

Thesis: The origin and chemical evolution of iron-peak and neutron-capture elements in the Milky Way. Chiara was jointly supervised by Thomas Bensby and myself. She is now a postdoc in Norbert Christlieb's group at Universität Heidelberg where she also participates in the work for 4MOST.

Anna Arnadottir, PhD student (2004 - 2009)

Thesis: A photometric study of the Galactic disks based on Strömgren photometry. Today Anna heads the Lund Observatory Planetarium at the Vattenhallen Science Centre. You find her webpage here .

Daniel Faria, PhD student (2001 - 2006)

Thesis: Photometry of resolved stellar populations in local group galaxies. Today Daniel works for the Swedish Defence research (FOI).

Jennifer Simmerer, Postdoc (2007 - 2009)

Jennifer was an Incoming International Marie Curie Fellow. Together we worked on studies of the mildly metal-rich globular cluster NGC 5927. After her time in Lund she worked as a postdoc in Utah and later in scientific publishing in New York.

Thomas Bensby, PhD student (2000 - 2004)

Thesis: Observational studies of the chemical evolution in the Galactic thin and thick disks. Thomas was first a postdoc with Sally Oey at Unievrsity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and then an ESO fellow in Chile. After that he rejoined Lund Observatory as "forskarassistent" with funding from the Swedish Research council. Thomas is now a lecturer at Lund Observatory. We enjoy a longstanding and fruitful collaboration.

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