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30 November 2006

Heidelberg Professorship for Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel

Outstanding scientific credentials — The first time in many years that a woman has been appointed to an astronomy professorship of this status at a German university — Major asset in the Initiative for Excellence contest

The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy and the Centre for Astronomy (ZAH) of the University of Heidelberg take great pleasure in announcing that Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel has accepted a W3 professorship at the University. This is the first time in very many years that a woman has been appointed to an astronomy professorship of this status (W3/C4) at a German university.

Eva Grebel comes to Heidelberg from Basel, where she has been professor of astronomy since 2003 and director of the Astronomical Institute of the University of Basel since 2004. Heidelberg is by no means unknown territory for her. From 2000 to 2003 she headed a research group at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy. Following her doctorate at the University of Bonn in 1995, her previous academic career took her to Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), Würzburg, Santa Cruz (California) and ultimately to Seattle (Washington) on one of the much-coveted Hubble Fellowships.

Eva Grebel's main research interests centre around the structure, dynamics and evolution of the Milky Way, stellar populations and galaxy evolution. Within this framework she has devoted her research above all to the highly topical field of dwarf galaxies and to so-called near-field cosmology, employing "galactic archaeology" to reconstruct the evolution of galaxies in detail by studying the abundant remnants of stellar evolution epochs of the past. Eva Grebel is an outstanding scientist who represents her research field in numerous international bodies. She has received a number of academic distinctions, including the Ludwig Biermann Award of the German Astronomical Society, the Henri Chrétien International Research Award of the American Astronomical Society and, only a few weeks ago, the Johann Wempe Award of the Astrophysical Institute in Potsdam.

At the University of Heidelberg Prof. Grebel will be an outstanding asset for the research conducted here on cosmology and extra-galactic astronomy, stellar formation and evolution, astrometry, stellar dynamics and astronomical instrumentation. In these fields she will also strengthen the links with the Max Planck Institutes of Astronomy and Nuclear Physics. Prof. Grebel will hold one of the two professorships at the Institute of Astronomical Computing and above all assume responsibility for the Gaia research group playing a key role in the preparations for the cornerstone satellite mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). For the University of Heidelberg the appointment of Prof. Grebel will also be a major asset with regard to the Initiative for Excellence contest now in full swing.

Prof. Grebel can look back on a rich fund of experience in the education of students and the supervision of theses and dissertations. This too will enhance Heidelberg's status as a centre of astronomical education in Germany. She will be taking up her duties at the beginning of the summer semester 2007.

Please address any inquiries to:
Faculty of Physics and Astronomy

Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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