My name is Francesca Fragkoudi (pronounced Fran-goo-dee) and I am an ESO Fellow at the European Southern Observatory in Garching bei München, researching the dynamics, formation and evolution of spiral galaxies. I use mostly theoretical tools, such as isolated and cosmological N-body+hydrodynamic simulations and orbital structure theory, to interpret observations of our Milky Way and of other galaxies in the nearby Universe. I'm particularly interested in the dark matter problem, and in studying the connection between the detailed dynamical processes occurring in galaxies with the wider cosmological context. For more information have a look at the Research tab and my publication list on ADS.


Before moving to ESO I was a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, in Garching, in the groups of Simon White and Volker Springel (Jan. 2018 - Dec. 2020). Prior to that I was a postdoc at GEPI, Observatoire de Paris (Jan. 2016 - Dec. 2017) working with Paola Di Matteo and Misha Haywood. I obtained my PhD  in January 2016 at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille under the supervision of Lia Athanassoula and Albert Bosma. I hail from the small island of Cyprus, which I left to move to Bristol, UK and then to Barcelona, Spain where I did my undergraduate and Masters degrees respectively. After finishing my Masters I took a year off during which I worked and travelled around South America.

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Science and its communication are essential to achieving a fairer, more peaceful and sustainable society, as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In order to share the perspective of global citizenship that astronomy imparts us with, I founded and coordinate, on behalf of GalileoMobile, the award-winning project "Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace" , which uses astronomy as a tool for peace and diplomacy on the post-conflict island of Cyprus. The project is funded by the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development, the United Nations Peace-keeping force in Cyprus and MPA. You can read more about Columba, GalileoMobile and other science communication activities I'm involved with, in the Science Communication tab.

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."

- Carl Sagan