Maarten Baes

is a full-time professor of astronomy at UGent since 2004. He teaches several courses in the Physics and Astronomy BSc and MSc, and in the Space Studies MSc. His main research interests are dust in galaxies, 3D radiative transfer, galaxy evolution and infrared instrumentation.

Karl Gordon

is an associated astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and a guest professor at UGent. His main interest is understanding the nature of interstellar dust grains (size, shape, and composition) and how they change from region to region in our Galaxy and other galaxies. 

Gianfranco Gentile

was a postdoc in our team for 8 years. His research interests include the distribution of dark and baryonic (stars, gas, and dust) matter in galaxies, and observational tests of alternative gravities. He left UGent in 2016 to work as a data scientist in the private sector.

Ilse De Looze

is a FWO research fellow, interested in observing and modelling galaxies at infrared, submm and radio wavelengths. She is currently on leave from her FWO research fellowship and takes up a two-year postdoc position at UCL.

Peter Camps

returned to the university to start a second career, after developing commercial publishing software for about thirty years. He finished his PhD in June 2016, and now works as a postdoc on the development of SKIRT and its application on hydrodynamically simulated galaxies.

Flor Allaert

was a FWO PhD fellow in our team from 2010 to 2015. His work focused on atomic and molecular gas, and baryon-induced dark matter cores in nearby galaxies. After finishing his PhD in September 2015, he took on a position as data scientist at Telenet.

Sébastien Viaene

finished his PhD in May 2016, and now holds a BOF postdoctoral fellowship. His research interests are dust in nearby galaxies, with a particular preference for Andromeda and dusty early-type galaxies. He is currently spending a year at the University of Hertfordshire.


Gert De Geyter

finished his PhD in March 2015 on FitSKIRT, a tool designed to fit dust radiative transfer models to optical images of dusty galaxies, based on genetic algorithms. He left astronomy to take up a consultancy job at Deloitte Belgium.

Marko Stalevski

is a postdoc at the Universidad de Chile and is connected to our UGent group as a member of staff on detached duty. His research interests include AGN dusty tori and accretion disks, polarization, and gravitational lensing. He uses SKIRT to create realistic models for AGN dusty tori.

Jo Raes

started his PhD in the context of the IUAP CHARM network in 2013. His research interests is the Solar atmosphere, more particularly the Solar prominences and their oscillations. His investigations will lead to a joint PhD title by UGent and KU Leuven.

Sander Valcke

was part of our team for three months after finishing his PhD in 2010. In this short time frame, he worked on the software development for SKIRT, laying out the foundations for a graphical user interface. He left the university to work for the Applied Maths software company.

Theodoros Nakos

worked in our research group as an instrument specialist from 2006 to 2011. He was a member of the test team of the MIRI instrument that will be onboard the James Webb Space Telescope. After this time in Ghent he became a test scientist for ALMA in Chile.

Michał Michałowski

was a Marie Curie Pegasus postdoctoral research fellow from 2012 to 2013, working on submillimetre galaxies, gamma-ray burst host galaxies, interstellar dust and star-formation at high redshifts. He returned to the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.

Edgardo Vidal Pérez

worked as a PhD student in the group from 2006 to 2011. The goal of his project was to apply the SKIRT radiative transfer code to circumbinary disks around post-AGB stars, taking advantage of near- and mid-infrared interferometric observations with the VLTI.

Joachim Vanderbeke

finished his PhD in February 2014 on a combination of near-infrared kinematics of early-type galaxies, and Galactic globular clusters. He did part of his thesis work as an ESO student in Chile. After finishing his PhD he took on a one-year postdoc in the dwarf galaxy group of colleague Sven De Rijcke.

Joris Verstappen

has finished his PhD in 2013, working on dust in edge-on spiral galaxies in the frame of the HEROES project and Herschel PACS data reduction and analysis for the HeViCS, HELGA and HEROES surveys. After his PhD he took on a postdoc position at the Kapteyn Institute in Groningen.

Jacopo Fritz

worked as a postdoc in our group for five years until December 2014. He was deeply involved in various Herschel projects, including H-ATLAS, HeViCS and HELGA. His research interests include also AGNs and cluster galaxies. He is now a tenure-track lecturer at the CRyA in Morelia.

Sam Verstocken

started his PhD early 2015. He is one of the main SKIRT users and developers, and took care of the task parallelisation of the code. He uses SKIRT to model large face-on spiral galaxies in the frame of the DustPedia project, based on data covering the UV-submm wavelength range.

Thomas Hughes

worked as a Herschel postdoc on different studies of dust in nearby galaxies, in the frame of the HeViCS , VNGS and HRS surveys. His research interests also include the effects of the environment on galaxy evolution, and optical spectroscopy. Early 2015 he moved to Valparaíso.

Sumana Nandi

worked in our group from late 2013 to early 2015 on a BELSPO postdoctoral grant for non-EU scientists. She is a radio interferometry expert and works on radio galaxies with signs of episodic activity. In May 2015 she took up a postdoc position at KTH Stockholm.

Waad Saftly

finished her PhD in June 2015. She has implemented advanced hierarchical dust grid structures in the SKIRT code, and applied the FitSKIRT code on artificial galaxies created using hydrodynamic simulations. After finishing her PhD, she became a lecturer at the Al-Baath University in Homs

Dukhang Lee

joined our group for eight months in 2016 as a visiting researcher, while working on his PhD at the University of Science and Technology in Daejeon (Korea). His research interests are interstellar dust, ionized gas, and the thermal design of infrared space telescopes.

Christian Peest

has started his PhD study in July 2015, as an ESO student with co-supervision by Ralf Siebenmorgen. He is integrating scattering and dichroic absorption polarization in two different radiative transfer codes, and applying this code to interpret a variety of polarimetric data.

Marjorie Decleir

is an FWO PhD fellow since October 2015. She is investigating the variety in the shape of the UV dust attenuation law in nearby galaxies. To this aim she is reducing and analyzing the SWIFT UVOT data for the KINGFISH sample of 61 nearby galaxies.

Jonathan León Tavares

spent a year as a visiting staff member in our group while on paternity leave from his staff astronomer position at INAOE (2015-2016). His research interests focus on how AGN release energy (from radio to gamma-rays) and impact the evolution of their host galaxy.


PhD students

Former group members

Pieter De Vis

finished his PhD in December 2016 on the gas and dust properties of Local Universe galaxies; his project led to a joint PhD between UGent and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. After his PhD he started a postdoc position at the IAS in Paris-Sud.

Meet the people in our team !

Ana Trčka

started her PhD in February 2017. A key element in her research is to extend and use SKIRT to create synthetic observations of simulated galaxies, including both dust and hydrogen line radiation transfer effects, and confront these with actual observations.

Dries Van De Putte

received a BOF PhD fellowship in October 2016, and is now working on a gas physics implementation for SKIRT, to study the radiative transfer through both dust and gas. During this project he is spending about two years at STScI in Baltimore, under co-supervision by Karl Gordon and Julia Roman-Duval.

Aleksandr Mosenkov

was a postdoc in our team between March 2015 and April 2017. He is mainly interested in edge-on spiral galaxies, and is, amongst other projects, using the FitSKIRT code to model the distribution of dust and stars in the HEROES galaxies. After leaving Ghent to returned to St-Petersburg University.

Wouter Dobbels

joined the team as an FWO PhD fellow in October 2017. He is using a combination of DustPedia and HELGA data and machine learning techniques to predict far-infrared fluxes and high-resolution images for galaxies, and to investigate what drives the far-infrared SED shape in galaxies.