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Dr. Michael Hilker

Michael Hilker is Faculty Chair and Head of the Office for Science at the European Southern Observatory. He studied Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Bonn (Germany) and obtained his PhD degree in Astronomy in 1998, working on the interrelation of dwarf galaxies, cd halo and globular clusters in the center of the Fornax galaxy cluster.

During his PhD work and a Postdoc position of the Universidad Católica in Santiago (Chile) he discovered a new type of compact stellar systems, the so-called ultra-compact dwarf galaxies. After his time in Chile, he went back to Bonn as a Research Scientist ('Hochschulassistent') in the University Observatory.

From 2006 to 2023, Michael Hilker was User Support Astronomer at ESO, involved in the operations of CRIRES, VIMOS, VIRCAM, OmegaCAM and MUSE, among others.He also was the Chair of the Fellowship and Visitor Selection Committees at ESO. He is co-investigator in several large collaborations that study the mass assembly of nearby galaxy clusters.

Research interests:

  • Galactic and extragalactic star clusters/li>
  • Dwarf galaxies in the Local Volume and nearby galaxy clusters
  • Star cluster and galaxy dynamics
  • Formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time


Contact Address:

Dr. Micheal Hilker
European Southern Observatory
Karl-Schwarzschild Str. 2
85748 Garching bei Muenchen, Germany

E-Mail: mhilker @