Saskia Hekker

Group Leader, Theory and Observations of Stars (TOS) at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)

Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Heidelberg University, Center for Astronomy (ZAH)/Landessternwarte Königstuhl (LSW)

Research Interests

Internal structures of stars, stellar evolution, asteroseismology, solar-like oscillators

Curriculum Vitae

October 2021 – September 2026ERC Consolidator Grant “DipolarSound”
since September 2020    Group leader at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), Germany
since September 2020Professor at Heidelberg University, Germany
October 2014 – August 2020Independent research group leader, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany
since June 2014Head of International node of Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Denmark
September 2013 – September 2014Lead scientist (ERC starting grant), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany
January 2011 – August 2013Veni fellow, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
April 2009 – December 2010Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
November 2007 – March 2009  Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Royal Observatory of Belgium


August 2018MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics) summer school graduate
September 2007PhD in Physics, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Netherlands Thesis: ‘Radial velocity variations in Red Giants: pulsations, spots and planets’
April 2003MSc in Applied Physics (Cum Laude), Delft University of Technology, Netherlands Thesis: ‘Temperature measurements in Rayleigh-Benard convection using suspended liquid crystals’


2020ERC Consolidator Grant
2016Merac grant
2015Merac prize for observational astrophysics
2014 – 2019Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg fellow
2014Max Planck independent Research Group
2013ERC starting Grant
2012Women in Faculty best publication prize, University of Amsterdam
2011Finalist of FYSICA 2011 Young Speakers Contest
2010Veni fellowship, Dutch National Funding Agency (NWO)
2006Kaiser prize: Prize for my contribution to the popularization of astronomy, Leiden
2006Poster prize: Cool stars XIV, Pasadena CA, USA
2005Poster prize: Dutch Astronomy meeting, Blankenberghe, Belgium
2003Poster prize: Applied Physics meeting TU Delft, The Netherlands
2003Master degree cum Laude (< 10% success rate)


Please see my publications on ADS.

In the Press

Schwingende Sterne und innere Geheimnisse

Podcast (in German) about asteroseismology and its history, 2023

Mysterious oscillations

Article in the research journal of Heidelberg University, 2021

Interview Campus Report

Short interview (German), 2021

Starquake observations near their teenage years

Aps Physics article, 2021

Astronomers Investigate Stellar Interiors

Sky & Telscope article, 2020

Old at Heart: Solution to Red Giants‘ Age Paradox

Press release, 2019

Forscherinnen lösen Rätsel um Rote Riesensterne

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪German article in the Göttinger Tageblatt, 2019

‪‪‪‪Stellar Ages and Galactic evolution: what have we learned from Asteroseismology

‪‪Talk at the Cambridge Workshop of Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun (Boston / Cambridge, USA – 2018)

‪‪Podcast: Asteroseismologie – Welt der Physik

Podcast (in German) about how to measure oscillations and what they can tell us about stars

‪‪Press release MPG

‪‪Listening to stellar cores

‪‪Article in Pan European Networks: Science & Technology, June 2017, issue 23, page 75

‪‪The power of asteroseismology

‪‪Ebook for Open Access Government, July 2017

‪‪Asteroseismology: It’s written in the stars‪‪

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪Article in Open Access Government, issue 14 May 2017 

‪‪Asteroseismology of binaries‪‪

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪‪Article in Pan European Networks: Science & Technology, December 2016, issue 21

‪‪Asteroseismology meets computer science‪‪

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪Article in Pan European Networks: Science & Technology, June 2016, issue 19

‪‪Stellar Ages in seconds‪‪

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪German article in the Göttinger Tageblatt

Visions in science – Breaking the enigma

‪Talk by Saskia Hekker at the Visions 2016 conference at Harnack House, Berlin.

‪‪Neue Methode zur Berechnung von Gravitation

‪‪‪‪‪German article in the Göttinger Tageblatt about a new method to measure the surface gravity of distant stars, which was published in Science Advances.

Blick ins Innere der Sterne

‪German article in the Göttinger Tageblatt about the public lecture „Einblicke in das Innere der Sterne: Die Anatomie roter Riesen“ in the framework of a series of lectures

EWASS 2015 Interview on YouTube

‪European week of Astronomy and Space Science 2015

Interview with Saskia Hekker who won the MERAC Prize in Observational Astrophysics

Sterne mit beschleunigter chemischer Uhr

Press release, April 2015 (in German)

European Early Career Prize for Saskia Hekker

Press release, March 2015

Kepler-444 has ancient planetary system

Press release: The discovery of five exoplanets orbiting a star in the constellation of Cygnus

Göttinger finden Milliarden Jahre altes Sonnensystem

Article from – Interview with Dr. Saskia Hekker (in German)

Altersforschung im All

Article in the Göttinger Tageblatt announcing the project (in German)

Zur englischen Seite wechseln oder auf dieser Seite bleiben.