The John Bahcall and the Balzan Fellowships
Current John Bahcall Fellow
Markus Ahlers received his PhD from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 2007. Following completion of his degree, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, UK and the State University of New York in Stony Brook. His research interests cover various aspects of neutrino astronomy.
Ahlers has been working on neutrino production associated with the acceleration and propagation of cosmic rays and gamma rays. The detection of these faint neutrino fluxes is an important test for our understanding of high-energy phenomena in the Universe and one of the main science goals of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Ahlers has been a member of the IceCube Collaboration since 2007.
John Bahcall Fellow 2015-2016
Keith Bechtol received his PhD in 2012 from Stanford University, where he contributed to several efforts aimed at understanding the origin of the extragalactic gamma-ray background. He has been an active member of the Fermi-LAT Collaboration since 2007.
After receiving his PhD, Bechtol worked on the Dark Energy Survey (DES) at the University of Chicago’s Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. DES is a wide-field optical survey of the Southern Hemisphere. Bechtol and collaborators have identified several new ultrafaint satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, which provide new targets to search for indirect dark matter signals. In 2014, Bechtol deployed to McMurdo station in Antarctica to prepare for the ANITA-III balloon flight. His curent research interests includes indirect dark matter searches, multimessenger constraints on the origin of the IceCube astrophysical neutrino signal, and detecting ultra-high-energy neutrinos via the radio technique.
John Bahcall Fellow 2011-2014
Claudio Kopper received his PhD from the University of Erlangen, Germany, in 2010. As a graduate student, he worked on optimizing the layout of the planned KM3NeT neutrino telescope, a task that involved rewriting and updating most of the existing simulation code, studying a new photodetector design and evaluating the detector performance for different possible neutrino sources.
After receiving his PhD, Kopper went to NIKHEF, the National Institute for Subatomic Physics in Amsterdam, to help finalize the design of KM3NeT. This included major contributions to the KM3NeT Technical Design Report concerning the physics potential of the current design of KM3NeT. At NIKHEF, he was also involved in simulations for a low-energy upgrade of IceCube, which is currently in an early planning stage.