Ewine van Dishoeck studies the chemistry of the universe. The space between the stars is not empty but filled with a very dilute, cold gas, such as found in the dark regions of the Orion Nebula. Van Dishoeck studies the molecules contained in these clouds. In addition to familiar hydrogen and carbon monoxide molecules, they also contain exotic compounds not normally found on earth. She is particularly interested in the way clouds collapse to form stars and how planets are formed in the circumstellar disks around young stars. She uses the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and its Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) (at 5000 metres altitude in the Chilean Andes) in her research.
She is currently using the European Space Agency’s Herschel telescope to study water in space and the role that it plays in star formation.
Van Dishoeck is an internationally famed researcher who has been instrumental in making the relatively new discipline of astrochemistry what it is today. She plays a leading role in organising international projects and partnerships and is able to convey her enthusiasm for her complex research to the general public.
Ewine van Dishoeck (born in 1955) was appointed Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden University in 1995. Since 2008, she has been an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. She is also the scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), and heads the WISH project (Water in Star-forming Regions with Herschel). Van Dishoeck studied chemistry and mathematics in Leiden and received her PhD there for her research at the interface of astronomy and chemistry. She has held positions at Harvard, Princeton and Caltech. Van Dishoeck is the most highly cited astrophysicist in the world. She has received a number of major awards, including the Spinoza Prize (2000).
Ewine van Dishoeck in NARCIS - National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System