Christa Gall receives Villum Young Investigator grant – University of Copenhagen

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24 January 2019

Christa Gall receives Villum Young Investigator grant

Funding:

Christa Gall receives 10 million DKK to search for 'known unknowns' in the transient Universe with a Villum Young Investigator grant.

Christa Gall receives 10 million DKK to search for 'known unknowns' in the transient Universe with a Villum Young Investigator grant. The Villum Young Investigator grant is an early career programme targeted at particularly talented young researchers to build and create their own independent research area at the highest international level.

Christa Gall is an Associate Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute (funded by the Carlsberg Foundation up to now) and is full time at DARK (a research unit of the Niels Bohr Institute). Christa is interested in the astrophysics of transient sources in the Universe, from a theoretical and an observational point of view.

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, a Danish National Research Foundation Niels Bohr Professor at DARK and a Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, stated: “Christa’s research project is in a field of strong international competition and excitement. I look forward to working with her on interpreting her new findings”. Jens Hjorth, head of DARK, added: Besides being a creative scientist, Christa enthusiastically works to support women in Science. She is a great role model in her daily research life."

Christa’s research project, “Searching for the Known Unknowns — Lightening up the Dusty Universe”, will use astrophysical transients to address fundamental questions about the Universe we live in. Astrophysical transients, such as massive stars exploding as supernovae, are the spotlights of the Universe, which is filled with small solid particles, ‘cosmic dust’, of unknown origin. I will find out if supernovae are the long sought production factories of large cosmic dust grains and quantify the properties of dust across cosmic time. The project will exploit the discovery space opened up by new transient surveys and enlighten some of the known unknowns such as the nature of hitherto unknown transients and their role in the dusty universe. The grant will fund one PhD student, one postdoc as well as interaction with international collaborators.