ESO Department of Communication

Contact Us

Please direct all inquiries and requests (English language is preferred) to this address:

ESO Department of Communication,
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
D-85748 Garching bei München

Tel: +49 89 3200 6291
Fax: +49 89 3200 2362

The Team

Our team consists of in-house staff, collaborators and interns. Some work full-time, some part-time. We also collaborate with volunteers.

A list of students and previous interns/visitors is available.


Head of the Department of Communication

Anna-Lynn Wegener

Head of the Department of Communication

Tel: +49 89 3200 6211


Susana Almagro Garcia

Administrative Assistant

Susana is the ESO Department of Communication Assistant at ESO's Headquarters in Garching. Her work includes providing administrative, travel, procurement and budget support for the department. Besides these duties, she also is in charge of logistics for the science communication internships, trainees, apprentices, students, visitors and volunteers. She coordinates events and projects as well as assisting with the budget and the coordination of payments.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6291

Media Relations Team

Mariya Lyubenova

Head of Media Relations Team

Mariya is the Head of the Media Relations Team, whose goal is to bring to the attention of the media, educators, decision-takers, local communities, and the public in general the most important scientific and technological achievements of the astronomical users community of ESO and its 16 member states. Mariya leads a culturally diverse team of science communicators, writers, visual artists, image processing specialists and social media experts. The MRT is responsible for the preparation of press releases, announcements, video casts, social media campaigns, exhibitions and other.

As a member of ESO’s astronomers faculty, Mariya is pursuing an active research program in the area of galaxy evolution, as well as supervises master and PhD students and mentors junior researchers. Born and completed a BSc and MSc in Bulgaria, Mariya obtained her doctorate in astronomy from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich in 2009, after pursuing 3 years of research at the ESO Headquarters in Germany. After that she worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany and then at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, before re-joining ESO in 2017.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6188

Bárbara Trovão Ferreira

Media Manager

Bárbara is responsible for managing the production of the ESO news items and acts as ESO’s interface with the media. She started her science communication career as a science writing intern at ESO back in 2011. She then moved to the European Geosciences Union where she worked for 8 years as media and communications manager, before returning to ESO. Originally from Portugal, she has a degree in astronomy from the University of Porto, and a masters and PhD in mathematical astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6670

Juan Carlos Muñoz Mateos 

Media Officer

As Media Officer, Juan Carlos contributes to shape and implement ESO’s online presence and strategy. After completing his PhD in Astrophysics at Complutense University in Madrid, he worked for 3 years at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, USA. He then moved to Chile as an ESO Fellow and later became a Staff Astronomer. At ESO he combined his research on galaxy evolution with duties at Paranal Observatory, and promoted ESO’s science and facilities online via his astrophotography. He subsequently decided to put these skills to work in the field of astronomy communication as a full-time career. After working as one of the coordinators of the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Education in Heidelberg, he returned to ESO and joined the Department of Communication in Garching. 

Tel.: +49 89 3200 6176  


Paola Amico

Science Liaison

Paola holds a Doctorate in Astronomy from Padova University, Italy. In 1994 she started as science fellow at ESO, in a wave of enthusiasm from her visits as a student that had her enjoying ESO's coffee since 1989; already in 1995 she moved her fellowship to the Detector Group of the Instrumentation Division, to follow a more technology-oriented career in astronomy. She became staff member at ESO in the Data Management Division in 1998, as Data Quality Control Scientist for ISAAC and NACO. In 2001 she moved to Hawaii, to enjoy tropical beaches and to work at Keck Observatory as Instrument Scientist for LRIS and eventually OSIRIS, following her interest in Adaptive Optics assisted Astronomy.

In 2005 she became Staff Astronomer at Paranal Observatory, thus re-joining ESO in a different continent. She was instrument scientist of NACO and SINFONI and leader of the Adaptive Optics team. In the 8 years as astronomer at the observatories, she participated in more than 30 different instrument commissioning and upgrades, and passed the 1200-nights mark as observer. Returning to regular daytime-work happened in 2009, when she closed a geographical and career triangle, as System Engineer in the Instrumentation Division of ESO. She currently works on ELT-related projects, such as MAORY, MICADO and the Wavefront Sensing Cameras, and supports the Department of Communication as Science Liaison. Asteroid #454350 discovered by WISE is named after her.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6927


Internal Communication

Douglas Pierce-Price

Head of Internal Communication

Tel: +49 89 3200 6759


Gabriela Gajardo

Internal Communication Chile

Tel: +56 2 463 3093

Communication Chile

Laura Ventura

Head of Communication Chile


Tel: +56 2 463 3265


Bárbara Nuñez

Regional Relations Officer

Bárbara is the Press Officer of ESO in Chile. After graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile University in 2011, she specialised in science communication at the University of Chile. She worked for national newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias, Chile’s most read newspaper in the country. There, she wrote about science, technology, and health. She also had the opportunity to write for international media such as The Planetary Society. She has been the finalist of several environmental and science journalism awards in Chile.

Tel: +56 2 463 3019

Francisco Rodríguez

Press Officer Chile


Sofía Otero Cavada

Outreach Officer in Chile

Sofía Otero Cavada is a journalist from Universidad de Chile, with a Master in Science Communication from the University of Otago (NZ). Before joining ESO, she worked in the field of promoting sciences for 10 years, with an emphasis in earth sciences and energy, for public universities and local public research centres in Chile. Since 2014, she has been teacher at the Diploma on Science Communication, at Universidad de Chile, and also teaches workshops in the area for professionals, researchers, undergraduate & graduate students. She has created and been in charge of a broad variety of contents and activities, in particular, books, exhibitions and online educational material for different audiences.

Tel: +56 2 463 3123


Creative Team

Martin Wallner

Head of Creative Team



Martin Kornmesser

Visual Artist

Visit Martin's Flickr page

Tel: +49 89 3200 6586

Herbert Zodet

Video Coordinator

Tel: +49 89 3200 6422

Luis Calçada

Data Visualisations Artist

Luis studied Physics/Applied Math (Astronomy) but eventually gave up on the idea of becoming a real scientist. He got his first real job at a science centre in Portugal, where for 6 years he discovered, developed and matured his skills in visual science communication. At ESO he's part of the latter steps of the chain, in a group which tries to deliver to the public the extraordinary science there developed in the exciting and inspiring manner it deserves. His tools of choice are Maxon's Cinema 4D, Adobe's Photoshop and After Effects and a Wacom Intuos 3. When he has the time, he also likes to do some photography, a sample of which you can see on his Flickr page.

Tel: +49 3200 6855


Jutta Boxheimer

Print Coordinator

Tel: +49 3200 6332

Mafalda Martins

Print Assistant

Tel: +49 3200 9020

Dusan Catricheo

Graphic Designer

Dusan Catricheo is a Visual Communication Designer from Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana de Chile (UTEM). After finishing his BA, he studied a post-graduate diploma in Exhibition Design at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a post-graduate diploma in Editorial Design at Universidad de Chile, and a Master Degree in Integrated Design at Köln International School of Design (KISD), TH Köln. He is very interested in editorial design and infographics.

He has focused his career on heritage interpretation and the interaction between people and museum objects, especially on how to facilitate their interpretation. He believes that this leads to the public's understanding and appreciation of both heritage and science.

He is a natural sciences enthusiast, zoology, and paleontology geek. His favorites genres are science fiction and fantasy. In his free time, he does birdwatching and plays videogames

Tel: +49 3200 6209


Web Team

Raquel Yumi Shida

Head of Web Team

Raquel obtained a professional degree in architecture and urban planning at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, her home country. As an undergraduate student she also attended classes in various fields of science, built her own telescope and became an avid amateur astronomer, publishing data and articles on galactic and extragalactic stars. Since then she has worked at the Astronomy Department at the University of São Paulo, at NASA/STScI and at ESA/Hubble doing astronomy-related web design/development, scientific research and astronomy outreach. Today she is responsible for the web content and management of several websites for ESO and the  International Astronomical Union.

A fraction of her publications in astronomy and science communication can be found on this NASA/ADS link

Tel: +49 89 3200 6177

Gurvan Bazin

Web & Advanced Projects Coordinator

Gurvan is a Full Stack Web Engineer. He got his PhD in Observational and Computational Cosmology in 2008 and worked on various international astronomical experiments, e.g. SPT, SDSS and LSST. He became an expert in data processing, data analysis and their counterparts in software engineering. In 2015, he started to work on the ESO Exposure Time Calculators, shifting focus towards Web Technologies. He is now responsible for the development and maintenance of the ESO, IAU and ESA/Hubble websites.

Tel: +49 89 3200 6872



Thea Elvin

Intern Science Communication

Thea’s love of science was sparked by a school work experience week at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, where she learned about exoplanet detection techniques. Since then she has completed an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and a research master’s in Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds.

At Cambridge, Thea started writing for the science section of the student newspaper and became hooked on science communication, going on to volunteer at science festivals, presenting the Leeds Student Radio Science Show, and starting her own blog. She thinks that being able to write about science every day is pretty much the best job in the world.


Thea Elvin

Giulio Mazzolo

Intern Science Communication

Giulio earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Padua (Italy) in 2006 and 2009, respectively. In 2007 he took the summer student programme at Fermilab (near Chicago, USA). In 2013 he completed his PhD studies at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover (Germany), where he also worked as a post-doc. He has been member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and his main research interest was the search for gravitational waves from colliding black holes in data from the LIGO and Virgo observatories.

In 2016 he switched to science communication. The following year he completed a post-graduate programme in science journalism and communication at the University of Rome (Italy). Since then he has been leading the communication activities of many international research projects funded by the European Commission.


Giulio Mazzolo