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Andreas Burkert
Andreas Burkert

Andreas Burkert

I 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.

At 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 at MPIA.