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Photo of Prof Stefan Kraus

Prof Stefan Kraus

Professor of Astrophysics


Telephone: 01392 724125

Extension: (Streatham) 4125

Visit personal website »

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 study the inner regions of protoplanetary discs and the physics that govern the inner few astronomical units. Using these observations, I investigate how planets and multiple stellar systems are forming and the dynamical processes that shape the architecture of stellar multiple systems and planetary systems.

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

Education and Employment

  • 2021 -          Personal Chair / Professor of Astrophysics, University of Exeter
  • 2015 - 2021 Associate Professor of Astrophysics, University of Exeter
  • 2013 - 2018 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 (as Principle Investigator)

  • CHARA, 17 programmes, 129 nights
  • ALMA, 7 programmes, 20 hours
  • VLTI/UTs, 26 programmes, 272 hours
  • VLT/UTs, 34 programmes, 108 hours
  • VLTI/ATs, 36 programmes, 470 hours
  • Keck+Gemini+Magellan, 6 programmes, 12 nights
  • SMA/ATCA Interferometry, 142 hours

Invited Presentations

  • "Spatially Rresolved observations of inner disc structure" (review), "Take a Closer Look" workshop, ESO, Garching, 16/10/2018
  • "Disks around low- and high-mass young stars resolved with interferometry", University of Southampton/UK, 17/01/2017
  • Opportunities with the Planet Formation Imager for Extragalactic Science", University of Southampton/UK, 17/09/2015
  • "Protoplanetary Disc Structure and planet formation signatures resolved with interferometry", University of Oxford/UK, 18/05/2015
  • "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

  • Member of the ESO STC La Silla Paranal Committee (2019-2020)
  • Member of the ALMA Review Panel (2019)
  • External Examiner for PhD viva at Nice, Grenoble, Leeds, Queensland, ...
  • Project Scientist for the Planet Formation Imager project (since February 2014)
  • President of the Science Council of the European Interferometry Initiative (July 2013 to July 2017)
  • Scientific Referee for the journals A&A, A&A Letters, ApJ, ApJ Letter, AJ, MNRAS, Nature, and Nature Physics (since 2007)
  • Panel Member of ESO's observing programme committee
  • Reviewer for NASA's Origins program, the UK STFC, Swiss National Science Foundation, the French National Research Agency, the European Research Council
  • Organiser of conference sessions at Star Formation 2016, COSPAR 2018, and the Royal Society UK-India Frontier of Science meeting


  • 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


  • International Astronomical Union
  • Royal Astronomical Society

Prizes / Fellowships

  • ERC Consolidator Grant Fellowship, 2021-2026
  • ERC Starting Grant Fellowship, 2014-2020
  • 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