was born in southern Bavaria in a small town surrounded
by farm land and meadows. Growing up in this environment,
I soon became interested in understanding of how
nature works and especially how life developed on
Earth. It was clear to me that I once will become
a biologist. Things changed when I started school
and began to read popular books about cosmology.
I was especially fascinated by pictures of spiral
galaxies floating in space which caused sleepless
nights where I tried to imagine how these objects
could have formed.
Starting high school my family moved to Munich where
I entered high school. As a birthday present I got
a small telescope and for several nights during
a very cold winter period I watched planets, binaries
and globular clusters. This winter I decided that
observational astronomy is not really what I would
like to do. On the other hand, solving the stellar
structure equations with my small pocket computer
was a lot of fun.
the University of Munich I studied physics and astronomy
and received my diploma and PhD in Astronomy at
the University Observatory of Munich with a thesis
on star and galaxy formation. As a Feodor Lynen
Fellow I then visited the University of Illinios
for a year to work with Jim Truran on galactic nucleosynthesis
and subsequently went for a year to Santa Cruz,
California to study star formation with Peter Bodenheimer.
After 3 years as staff scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute
for Astrophysics in Garching I received an offer
from the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg
to build and lead a theory group. Since 1995 I am
a staff member and the head of the theory group