Postdoc Researcher in Extragalactic Astrophysics

Save as a favourite Create job alert

Short description

The LIO Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx) proposes a 2-year post-doctoral position.

Starting date: From September 1st, 2022

The net salary (+social benefits) will depend on experience. A €3,000 annual package for travels and equipment will be allotted.

Research project (1/2 page – 1 page)

Context: One of the greatest challenges in today’s modern physics is the nature of the (elusive) dark-matter (DM). Observations of the rotation curves of distant galaxies can provide constraints on the DM properties (densities, halo sizes, etc.) and their evolution and thus on the nature of DM (CDM, fuzzyDM, self-interacting DM).  Beyond the local universe, putting constraints on the properties of DM is an emerging field, but researchers at CRAL are well positioned to play a significant role thanks to its long history of developments of Integral Field Spectrographs (IFS), e.g. SAURON, MUSE, and in the future BlueMUSE and Harmoni for the ELT.

State-of-the-art: At high redshifts, understanding the properties of DM halos from galaxy kinematics in its infancy with the pioneering work of Genzel et al. (2017,2020) on few massive z=2 star-forming galaxies, and found surprisingly low dark-matter fractions in these galaxies. Researchers at CRAL with the GalPaK3d algorithm that fits the kinematics of galaxies directly in 3D have successfully performed such analysis with MUSE on about ten z=1 galaxies (Bouché et al. 2021) where DM cores were found. Expanding these results to broad redshift ranges and lower galaxy masses will be crucial to characterize the evolution of DM properties over cosmic times.

Beyond the state-of-the-art, the ELT: Compared to MUSE spatial resolution (1.5kpc at z=1), HARMONI, a near-infrared IFS for the ELT, will play a major role in this area thanks in part to the ELT AO performances leading to spatial resolution of ~150pc at z=1.  CRAL is a key partner of this project , leads the construction of the Integral Field Unit (IFU) and has the responsibility for the data-reduction software. In particular, the software engineers at CRAL are developing the HARMONI pipeline together with a Fourier-optics based Instrument Numerical Model (INM) which follows the complete optical design of the instrument and reproduces the complex light path throughout the telescope and the instrument up to the detectors. This tool will provide synthetic exposures, which are essential in order to validate the data-processing pipeline that will reconstruct datacubes from the detector readouts. 

The postdoc candidate is expected to contribute to the CRAL science programs, such as strong lensing, dark-matter halos, and/or on numerical simulations. The candidate will use the Harmoni-INM on the local super-computer facility (CCF2) to simulate sets of mock HARMONI exposures from astrophysical scenes extracted from numerical simulations and/or existing observations of local galaxies. The exposures can then be processed by the HARMONI pipeline to create the corresponding data-cubes in order to optimize the observational strategy and to validate the pipeline algorithms. 

Research field(s)

Extragalactic astronomy

Computational astrophysics

Supervisor and contact

Name: Bouché, Nicolas

Laboratory:  Center for Research in Astrophysics of Lyon (CRAL)

Phone number: 04 81 18 49 13

Email: nicolas.bouche@univ-lyon1.fr 

Working environment

Job location and description

The job is open at Center of Research in Astrophysics of Lyon (CRAL) located at Saint Genis Laval ( 9. Av charles André, F-69230 St Genis Laval)  and at the Ecole Normal Superieur (ENS ; 46 Allée d’italie, F-69007 Lyon).


The team is made of researchers in the extragalactic group (Nicolas F. Bouché, CNRS Researcher ; Johan Richard, Astronomer ; Joakim Rosdahl, CNRS), Scientific computing department (Aurélien Jarno, Research Engineer ; Laure Piqueras, Research Engineer) and from the Astro@ENS group (Jeremy Fensch, Lecturer).

Allocated resources (technical facilites, computing…)

The postdoc will have access to the Center for Computing Facility (CCF2), a Labex LIO funded facility in order  to perform numerical simulations (with J. Fensch) and to generate synthetic Harmoni exposures with the Harmoni-INM. Le CCF2 is made of ~100 cores with ~400Gb of RAM for each. The Harmoni-INM is written in python/C and parallelized with OpenMP.

Recent publications of the team

Bouché et al. 2021 A&A...654A..49B

Bouché et al. 2022 A&A (arXiv/210907545) 

Fensch et al. 2021 MNRAS.505.3579F

Jarno et al. 2020 link  Proc. ADASS (2020).

Piqueras et al. 2020 SPIE11452E..2TP

Thatte et al. 2021Msngr.182....7T

Description of LabEx LIO

In 2011, The Lyon Institute of Origins LabEx was selected following the first “Laboratory of Excellence” call for projects, part of the “Investissement d’Avenir” program for forward-looking research. It is one of 12 LabExes supported by the University of Lyon community of universities and establishments (COMUE). LIO brings together more than 200 elite researchers recruited throughout the word and forming 18 research teams from four laboratories in the Rhône-Alps region, all leaders in their fields, under the auspices of the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and the CNRS. LIO’s goal is to explore questions about our origins, operating in a broad field of study that ranges from particle physics to geophysics, and includes cosmology, astrophysics, planetology and life.

Selection process

Qualifications / Skills / Education & Research requirements

The ideal candidate must hold a PhD. Applicants with interests in extragalactic observational or computational astrophysics are strongly encouraged to apply. Experience in simulation of observational data, use of state-of-the-art simulations or with integral field data are desirable.

The candidate will be able to perform at least 50% independent research. Researchers with interest in the properties of dark-matter from observational and theoretical perspective are strongly encourage to apply. 

Application deadline

January 15th, 2022

Requested documents for application

Applicants must email a CV, a statement of interest, a summary of research interests (max 3p), past experiences (max 2p), three letters of recommendations to nicolas.bouche@univ-lyon1.fr before January 15, 2022. 

Candidates on the short list will be interviewed by February 15th. 

Apply now

Personal details*
Upload your CV and attachments

*By applying for a job listed on Academic Positions you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Job details

Postdoc Researcher in Extragalactic Astrophysics
92 Rue Pasteur, France
Application deadline
Job type
Save as a favourite Create job alert

More jobs from this employer

About the employer

In 2011, Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO) LabEx was selected following the first “Laboratory of Excellence” call for projects, part of the “In...

Visit the employer page

Discover related jobs

Become an IB Examiner for Swedish A: Literature International Baccalaureate® (IB) 2 days ago
Solar Energy Assistant/Associate Professor University of Nizwa 10 months ago
Assistant Professor in Marketing Wenzhou-Kean University 3 months ago
Become an IB Examiner for Croatian A: Literature International Baccalaureate® (IB) 2 days ago
Become an IB Examiner for Danish A: Literature International Baccalaureate® (IB) 2 days ago
More jobs

Relevant stories

The Power of Ultrafast Lasers Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL 4 min read
Going Nuclear to Save Time University of Jyväskylä 5 min read
Towards a Green and Ethical Future University of Jyväskylä 4 min read
Herbal Warfare: A Natural Weapon to Fight Parasites Free University of Bozen - Bolzano 4 min read
More stories