We measure stellar velocities in the nuclei of galaxies with SINFONI,
and model them to constrain the masses of the nuclear black
holes. Where do these giant black holes come from? What are their
seeds? How do they grow?
We determine the dark matter distribution in elliptical galaxies
through dynamical modeling and we weigh dark matter halos also through
their lensing effect. We also analyze the lensing effect of clusters
of galaxies and large scale structure.
The study of the galaxy properties as
a function of redshifts is an obvious observational tool to constrain
galaxy formation and evolution models.
We are executing surveys to measure the power spectrum of the galaxy
distributions at high (z = 1-2) redshifts as a tool to constrain the
redshift evolution of the equation of state of Dark Energy.
We search for planets, especially rocky ones around cool, small stars,
using the transit method and study their
physical properties through spectroscopic follow-up.
We design and build instruments for ESO, the HET telescope, the
Wendelstein Observatory. We develop software for the HETDEX
experiment, the PanSTARRS1 project. We participate to the proposal
for ESA EUCLID satellite mission.