Photo of Prof Stefan Kraus

Prof Stefan Kraus

Associate Professor in Astrophysics


Telephone: 01392 724125

Extension: (Streatham) 4125

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I joined the University of Exeter in 2013. Before that, I held appointments as NASA Sagan Fellow at the University of Michigan and as SMA fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Bonn and my M.Sc. from the University of Massachusetts.

My research focuses on high-angular resolution studies related to star and planet formation. Using interferometers such as VLTI, CHARA, and ALMA, I investigate the inner regions of protoplanetary disks and study the mass accretion and ejection processes taking place close to the forming star. Using these observations, I constrain the structure and physical conditions in the sub-AU inner disk regions and investigate where planets are forming in the disk and how they interact with the disk material.

I also serve as President of the Science Council of the European Interferometry Initiative (since July 2013) and Project Scientist for the Planet Formation Imager project (since February 2014).

Further details of my research projects can be found on my personal website.

Education and Employment

  • 2015 -          Associate Professor of Astrophysics, University of Exeter
  • 2013 -          STFC Rutherford Fellow, University of Exeter
  • 2013 - 2015 Proleptic Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • 2012 - 2013 SMA Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
  • 2009 - 2012 NASA Carl Sagan Fellow, University of Michigan, USA
  • 2007 - 2009 PostDoc, Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Germany
  • 2004 - 2007 PhD Astronomy, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2002 - 2003 MSc Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, USA
  • 1999 - 2002 Vordiplom, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Facilities Usage

Facilities time for which I am the Principal Investigator:

  • ALMA, Cycle 2+3
  • Gemini South, GPI, 8 hours
  • VLTI/UTs, AMBER and MIDI, 275 hours
  • VLTI/ATs, AMBER, MIDI, and PIONIER, 273 hours
  • CHARA, CLIMB, MIRC and VEGA, 280 hours
  • Keck Interferometer and Keck-II, 45 hours
  • SMA Interferometry, 70 hours
  • ATCA Interferometry, 72 hours
  • Magellan, IMACS and FIRE, 4 nights
  • Gemini South, TReCS, 16 hours

Invited Presentations

  • "Circumstellar Disks and Planet Formation", University of Michigan/USA, 13/10/2014
  • "The Planet Formation Imager Project", European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC), Cascais/Portugal, 10/09/2014
  • "Infrared interferometric View of Herbig Ae/Be disks", ESO workshop, Santiago/Chile, 07/04/2014
  • "Imaging planet-formation signatures with ground-based interferometry & overview of EII activities", FISICA workshop, Rome/Italy, 18/02/2014
  • "Protoplanetary disc structure & planet formation signatures resolved with interferometry", DAMTP, Cambridge/UK, 26/01/2014
  • "Exploring the Signatures of Planet Formation with Multi-wavelength Interferometry", EWASS 2013, Turku/Finland, 10/07/2013
  • "Combining Optical Spectroscopy and Interferometry", 10th Potsdam Thinkshop, AIP, Potsdam/Germany, 29/05/2013
  • "Resolving the Gapped Structure in Pre-transitional Disks with Multi-wavelength Interferometry”, Sagan Symposium, Caltech/USA, 08/11/2012
  • "New opportunities with spectro-interferometry & spectro-astrometry", SPIE 2012, Amsterdam/Netherlands, 05/07/2012
  • "Infrared spectro-interferometry of Be and B[e] stars", University of Toledo, 20/01/2012
  • "Zooming in on low- and high-mass YSOs with infrared spectro-interferometry", University of Michigan, Ann Arbor/USA, 14/10/2010
  • "First results from VLTI near-infrared interferometry on young high-mass stars", SPIE 2010, San Diego/USA, 27/07/2010
  • "Studying the formation of sun-like stars with infrared interferometry", ESO workshop "The Origin and Fate of the Sun", Garching/Germany, 02/06/2010
  • "Young stellar disks", ESO workshop "The interferometric view of hot stars", Santiago/Chile, 04/03/2009
  • "Star formation physics with VLTI: present and future, GTO", VLTI workshop, Granada/Spain, 06/11/2008

Contributions to the Community

  • Project Scientist for the Planet Formation Imager project (since February 2014)
  • President of the Science Council of the European Interferometry Initiative (since July 2013)
  • Scientific Referee for the journals A&A, A&A letters, ApJ, ApJ letter, AJ, MNRAS, and Nature (since 2007)
  • Panel Member of ESO's observing programme committee
  • Reviewer for NASA's Origins of the Solar System programme


  • Scientific results featured in various press releases from ESO, JPL, NASA, MPIfR, MPG, A&A, SPIE, LAOG, University of Michigan, and University of Exeter
  • Public talks, e.g. in the Bad Effelsberg public talk series


I am a member of the International Astronomical Union.


  • Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2013
  • STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship, 2013-2018
  • NASA Carl Sagan Fellowship, 2009-2012
  • Best PhD in Interferometry Prize, SPIE, 2008
  • Otto-Hahn Medal, Max-Planck Society, 2008