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PD Dr. Ortwin Gerhard

Dr. Ortwin Gerhard received his doctoral degree (PhD) from the University of Cambridge, England (1982), with a thesis on interactions and mergers of spiral galaxies. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford (1982-83), at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik in Garching (1983-86) and at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge (1986-88), working on the stellardynamics of galaxies. He then became a Heisenberg fellow at the Landessternwarte Heidelberg, leading a research group modelling the dynamics of galaxies. In 1994 he moved to the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he was Professor for Astronomy and later Director of the Astronomical Institute of the University. He moved to MPE in 2005 where he leads the Dynamics Group. The group's research is centered on galaxy dynamics and evolution with an active interest in modelling observations. Recently a substantial focus has been on understanding the structure of our Milky Way galaxy, following the advent of stellar surveys and the Gaia satellite.

Research interests:

  • Stellar dynamics and structure of galaxies. Galactic nuclei
  • The Milky Way: structure, mass distribution, microlensing
  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • Intracluster stars in galaxy clusters
  • Nature and distribution of dark matter


Contact Address:

Dr. Ortwin Gerhard
Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik
P.O. Box 1312
85741 Garching, Germany

E-Mail: gerhard @

Phone: +49-89-30000-3539