Prof. Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina Appointed New Director of the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik

As of April 1, 2017, the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS) is under new leadership. Prof. Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, who served as the Deputy Director at KIS since 2008, has been appointed by the KIS Foundation Council as new Director of KIS.

Svetlana Berdyugina is Professor for Astrophysics at the Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany, the first female physics chair in its history as of 1457 AD. Previously she was holding Professorships at the University of Oulu, Finland (2000-2001), and ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2005-2010), and she was a Senior Fellow of the Academy of Finland (2001-2005) and of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaii, USA (2011-2014). She received her PhD degree in Astrophysics from the St.-Petersburg University, Russia, in 1994.

Her research is focused on solar and stellar magnetic activity and exoplanetary atmospheres (see For this research she has won two prestigious European grants: European Young Investigator (EURYI) Award (2005-2010) and ERC Advanced Grant (2012-2017). Her pioneering studies of the Sun and stars using molecular polarimetry have led to important discoveries and solved several puzzles in solar and stellar magnetism. She and her team have detected for the first time visible light from an exoplanet, and she explores paths towards understanding planet habitability and detecting extraterrestrial life.

“I am very honored by this opportunity to lead such a premier solar institute”, said Prof. Berdyugina. “The Sun is the Rosetta stone in astrophysics, and there is still a lot to learn about the Sun and from the Sun”.

KIS conducts experimental and theoretical research and operates the German Solar Observatory on Tenerife (Spain) with its flagship 1.5m GREGOR solar telescope. The institute is a member of the Leibniz Association (Germany), European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST, EU), and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA, USA).




Dr. Jozef Bruls

Scientific Assistant to Board of Directors

Kiepenheuer Institut für Sonnenphysik



Judith Blank

Administrative Assistant to Board of Directors

Kiepenheuer Institut für Sonnenphysik