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

since Sept 2020                   Group leader at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), Germany

since Sept 2020                   Professor at Heidelberg University, Germany

Oct  2014  —  Aug 2020       Independent research group leader, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany

since June 2014                  Head of International node of Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Denmark

Sept 2013  — Sept 2014      Lead scientist (ERC starting grant), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany

Jan 2011    — Aug 2013       Veni fellow, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 2009 — Dec 2010        Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Nov 2007   — March 2009   Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Royal Observatory of Belgium


August 2018    MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics) summer school graduate.

Sept 2007      PhD in Physics, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Netherlands.

                        Thesis: ‘Radial velocity variations in Red Giants: pulsations, spots and planets’.

April 2003      MSc in Applied Physics (Cum Laude), Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

                        Thesis: ‘Temperature measurements in Rayleigh-Benard convection using suspended liquid crystals’.


2016               Merac grant

2015       Merac prize for observational astrophysics

2014 — 2019  Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg fellow

2014               Max Planck independent Research Group

2013               ERC starting grant

2012               Women in Faculty best publication prize, University of Amsterdam

2011               Finalist of FYSICA 2011 Young Speakers Contest

2010               Veni fellowship, Dutch National Funding Agency (NWO)

2006               Kaiser prize: Prize for my contribution to the popularisation of astronomy, Leiden

2006               Poster prize: Cool stars XIV, Pasadena CA, USA

2005               Poster prize: Dutch Astronomy meeting, Blankenberghe, Belgium

2003               Poster prize: Applied Physics meeting TU Delft, The Netherlands

2003               Master degree cum Laude (< 10% success rate)


Please see my publications on ADS:

In the Press

Sky & Telescope article

radio 1 contribution

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)

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