With a background in Physics as well as Astronomy, I have worked on astronomical science questions using theory, simulations and observations in the past.

While my research interests include stellar evolution and asteroseismology, I have found myself enthralled by the origin and cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs), which is the focus of my current research. In order to discover and study these actively growing SMBHs - Quasars - in the early Universe I use the largest optical/near-infrared telescopes on Earth.

Research interest keywords:

supermassive black holes, quasars, high redshift, stellar evolution, machine learning, optical/near-IR spectroscopy, asteroseismology, big data, LSST, MESA

Curriculum Vitae

2021-present - Postdoctoral researcher
in the group of Prof. Joseph Hennawi
Leiden Observatory, University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands

2018-2021 - Postdoctoral researcher
in the groups of Dr. Fabian Walter and Dr. Eduardo Banados
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany

2012-2013/2014-2018 - Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, AZ, USA
Supervisor: Xiaohui Fan, Ph.D. (Regents' Professor)
Thesis: The Formation and Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes: The Extremely Luminous Quasar Survey

2011-2012/2013-2014 - M.Sc. in Physics
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang J. Duschl / Xiaohui Fan, Ph.D. (Regents' Professor)
Thesis: Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes and their host galaxies

2008-2011 - B.Sc. in Physics
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang J. Duschl
Thesis: Zeitliche Entwicklung selbstgravitierender Akkretionsscheiben: Selbstähnliche Lösungen?
Thesis (translation): Temporal evolution of self-gravitating accretion discs: self-similar solutions?

A full version of my CV and publication list is available below:

Service & Outreach

I love to share my enthusiasm for science and my fascination for physcis and astronomy. Therefore, I am always interested in ways to reach out to the general public, to educate and inspire. I have given talks to students and the general public and even written for an on-line magazin.

If you are interested in having me speak at your school/university in the greater Heidelberg/Mannheim area, please feel free to contact me below. I am fluent in German and English.

During my time as a Ph.D. student, I had the privilege to be a regulary visitor at the Desert Sky Middle School in Tucson, Arizona. In fall 2014 Sharon Goldwasser invited me for the first time to give a presentation on "Black Holes - Monsters of the Universe" to her 7th grade science classes. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing this complicated topic into a 7th grade classroom and it was a pleasure to engage in a discussion with the students. Therefore, I returned every year throughout 2015-2017 to give updated versions of this presentation until I finished my Ph.D. in 2018.

In 2017 I was approached by reporter Susan Mücke from the on-line magazine Krautreporter with a simple question:"Why doesn't the Earth stop to rotate?". We exchanged a few emails and I ended up writing an article on this topic, Warum steht die Erde nie still?, which is so far only available in German.

On the picture to the left you can see me giving an "Astronomy on Tap" talk - "From the Dark Ages to Cosmic Dawn" - at the Borderlands brewery in Tucson, AZ (February 2017).

Image Credit: Jan Rydzak

Contact information

Jan-Torge Schindler
schindler [at] mpia [dot] de
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Room 308/1, Königstuhl 17
69117 Heidelberg