Astronomer Jorryt Matthee receives MERAC Prize for best thesis
Dutch astronomer Jorryt Matthee will receive the European MERAC Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in observational astrophysics. Matthee received his doctorate at Leiden University in 2018 and is now doing research at ETH Zürich.
In the early Universe, galaxies were covered by some sort of mist: a cloud of hydrogen. Later in the Universe's lifespan, those clouds have disappeared. Jorryt Matthee was the first to capture the mist dissipating. Matthee's supervisors were Huub Röttgering, Joop Schaye, and David Sobral. Matthee already won the Faculty Prize for best doctoral thesis in 2018 and the prestigious IAU PhD Prize in 2019.
During his doctoral research, Matthee discovered the brightest galaxy in the Universe yet known. He also saw that early galaxies are surrounded by huge halos of so-called Lyman alpha photons.
The MERAC Prizes are awarded by the European Astronomical Society (EAS). Each prize comes with 20.000 euros in prize money. Winners will hold a lecture at the annual meeting of EAS, which will be held in Leiden this year between Monday 29 June and Friday 3 July.