My name is Francesca Fragkoudi (pronounced Fran-goo-dee) and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, in Garching, Germany. I research the dynamics, formation and evolution of disc galaxies -- including our own Milky Way -- using mostly theoretical tools, such as isolated and cosmological N-body+hydrodynamic simulations as well as orbital structure theory. 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 details have a look at the Research tabs and my publication list on ADS.
Before moving to MPA I was a postdoc at GEPI, Observatoire de Paris (2016-2017), and before that I obtained my PhD (2012-2015) 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.
I believe that science and its communication play a key role in achieving a fairer and more sustainable society. 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 in post-conflict regions. 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