Julien Girard is a Paranal Operations Staff Astronomer who joined the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in 2009. Adaptive Optics (AO) specialist, he’s the Instrument Scientist (IS) of VLT/NACO & and IS2 of SPHERE. He also coordinates the AO activities at ESO Chile, helping prepare/support the current/future AO facilities.
His main research interests are: star & planet formation, faint companions search and characterization (brown dwarfs & extra-solar planets and the disks where they usually form), close and dusty environment of young and/or massive stars, etc. For that, Julien uses high angular & high contrast imaging techniques extensively, mainly in the infrared and from the ground. Also interested in the time-domain, he participates to campaign to measure extrasolar planet atmospheres via transits and occultations. He obtained a master’s degree in Instrumentation Physics from the University of Utah in 2000, a 2nd one in Astrophysics (UJF/IPAG, Grenoble) the next year and his PhD in 2005 (UCBL/Observatoire de Lyon) for his contribution to the polychromatic laser guide star project ELPOA. Before ESO, he spent 3 years in Mexico City as a postdoctoral fellow at IA-UNAM and as assistant professor at IPN/ESFM.
Julien enjoys participating to public outreach activities and is one of the ESO Photo Ambassadors.
You can follow Julien on twitter (@djulik).