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

Oct 2021 – Sept 2026 ERC Consolidator Grant “DipolarSound”

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


Aug 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’


2020 ERC Consolidator Grant

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

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)

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