Research Group

Where are we?

We are currently an international research group with members in Germany, The Netherlands, and the US, due to recent moves of the PI. We will be expanding in the German node, which will be the new home for the group. Current members are employed and affiliated with one or more of the following institutes

  • the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching near Munich in Germany,
  • the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands
  • Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Current Group members

Senior members
  • Selma de Mink (PI)
  • Stephen Justham, University of Amsterdam, visiting professor (June 2018 – now ) also a professor at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and a visiting scientist at Harvard University.
Postdoctoral fellows
  • Rob Farmer, University of Amsterdam, postdoctoral fellow (September 2017 – now)
PhD students
  • A. (Lieke) van Son, Harvard University (January 2019 – now)
  • Eva Laplace,  University of Amsterdam (November 2017 – now, planned graduation fall 2021)


  • Tom Wagg, Harvard University  (2020 – ) Former Senior thesis student
  • Katie Sharpe, Harvard/Amsterdam (2020 – ) Former Summer student
  • Floris Kummer MPA/Amsterdam (2020- ) Former MSc student
Group as of June 2020.
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12.34.13 PM
Former members E. (Manos) Zapartas (PhD 2018, now Excellence Fellow at Geneva Observatories), Mathieu Renzo (PhD 2019, now Simons Fellow at the Flatiron Institute), and Ylva Götberg (PhD 2019, now Hubble Fellow at Carnegie Observatories). Picture taken around 2016

Former Students and Group members

Fomer postdocs, associates, prize fellows

  • Silvia Toonen, VENI laureate (January 2017 – March 2019). Now faculty at the University of Birmingham
  • Athira Menon, postdoctoral fellow (September 2018 – September 2020)

Former PhD students

  • Mathieu Renzo, PhD student (Oct 2015 – 2019).  Now fellow at the Flatiron instiute in New York.
  • Ylva Götberg, PhD student (Nov 2014 – Dec 2014), graduated Feb. 2019.  Continued as Carnegie Nashman Theory Fellow at Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena Ca.
  • Emmanouil (Manos) Zapartas, PhD student  (Oct 2014 – Oct 2018), graduated Dec 2018. Continued as Swiss Excelence Fellow at Geneva Observatories in the group of Tassos Fragos.

Former Master students

  • Floris Kummer (2019-2020, MSc thesis, Amsterdam, primary supervisor: Justham)
  • Lokesh Khandelwal (2019-2020, MSc thesis, Amsterdam, primary supervisor: Justham)
  • Sarah Kok (2019-2020, MSc thesis, Amsterdam, primary supervisor: Farmer)
  • Javier Moran Fraile (2018-2019). Now PhD student in Heidelberg.
  • Miron van der Kolk, MSc student educational track, short project (Fall 2018).
  • Floor Broekgaarden, MSc Student, Math & Physics (Fall 2017 – 2018). Now PhD at Harvard University.
  • Walter van Rossem, MSc student (2016 – 2017). Now PhD student in Birmingham.
  • David Hendriks, MSc Student (Fall 2017 – 2018). Now PhD student with Rob Izzard at Surrey, UK.
  • Karel Temmink, MSc Student (supervised by Silvia Toonen, Fall 2017- 2018). Now PhD student with Onno Pols at Nijmegen University.
  • Louise Edstam, MSc student (June 2016 – June 2017 ), works as a quantitative analyst for insurance company AA Ireland
  • Coen van Neijssel, MSc student (June 2015 – June 2016), Continued as PhD student the University of Birmingham with Ilya Mandel
  • Ruben Boots, MSc student, Education track  (October 2015 – July 2016), Continued in the Education Master at the University of Amsterdam
  • Nathan Grin (in co-supervision, Sept 2014 – Sept 2015), Continued as PhD student in Bonn with Norbert Langer
  • Abel Schootemeijer, (Sept 2014 – Sept 2015). Continued as PhD student at the Argelander Institute in Bonn, Germany with Norbert Langer. Completed his thesis in Feb 2019. Continuing as a postdoc in Bonn.
  • Emmanouil (Manos) Zapartas  (MSc student, Sept 2013 – Sept 2014 ), Continued as PhD student in Amsterdam in my group. See above.

Former Bachelor and Undergraduate students

  • Grant Meinders (2020) Summer Project at Harvard University
  • Katie Sharpe (2020) Summer Project at Harvard University
  • Tom Wagg (2019-2020, Senior thesis, Harvard University)
  • Carla Alejandra Calle Garcia (ASPIRE summer student 2019), now an MSc student at Padova University.
  • Floor Broekgaarden, BSc Student, Math & Physics (February 2016- September 2016)
  • Thomas Dodds, BSc Student, (June 2017). Continued in the MSc program in Leiden.
  • Max Briel, BSc Student, Amsterdam University College (January – June 2016)
  • Timothy Mans, undergrad student, June 2015, now BSc student in Amsterdam
  • Jur Haartman, undergrad student, June 2015, now BSc student in Amsterdam
  • Adrian Hamers (BSc student,  Sept 2009 – Feb 2010), continued as PhD student at Leiden University, a postdoctoral fellow at IAS Princeton, group leader at Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. .
  • Mark Verkoulen (BSc student, Utrecht, Sept 2007 – Aug 2008),
  • Michiel Cottaar, (BSc student, Utrecht, Jan 2007 – July 2007), Continued as PhD student at ETH, a postdoc in Oxford in Neuroscience