Professor Sera Markoff
Sera Markoff is Professor at the University of Amsterdam in Theoretical High-Energy Astrophysics. She strives to understand black holes, in particular how they act as powerful engines in the Universe that greatly impact their surroundings via the energy they release. Following her PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics from the University of Arizona in 2000, Sera held a Humboldt Research Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (Germany) and a National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT (USA). In 2006, she started as faculty at the UvA, leading a research group funded by, a.o., NWO Vidi and Vici grants. She was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014, and a Tinsley Centennial Visiting Professor at UT Austin in 2015, and is currently vice-chair of the Science Council of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration that made the first image of a black hole. Parallel to her science work, Prof. Markoff is a strong believer in equity in STEM, and pursues many projects aimed at improving diversity. She recently won the first NWO Diversity Initiative Award for her work as instigator of the Altair project. The Altair project is a pilot aimed at introducing primary school children to science via classroom lessons and university visits.