Selma de Mink

Selma de Mink

Associate Professor of Astronomy
Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Selma de Mink headshot

Selma de Mink is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Astronomy Department and Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard University. Her main expertise lies in the area of Stellar Physics and its applications across different fields in Astrophysics. She is most known for het work on the lives, deaths and afterlives of massive stars, in particular those that interact with a binary companion. She studies how such systems can give rise to the strong emission of gravitational waves. She is also interested in the role that massive stars played throughout cosmic time and helped shape the Universe as we know it today.

De Mink received several recognitions of her work. These include the Pastoorsmeitsprize (2019) awarded by the Nederlandse Astronoment Club and Kapteyn fund, election as member of the Dutch Young Academy of Sciences (2018), the Merac prize in theoretical astrophysics (2017)  awarded by the European Astronomical Society, recipient of a Beller lectureship (2017) awarded by the American Astrophysical Society,  a 2M€ ERC starting grant awarded by the European Research Council for her program BinCosmos (2016). She is also Vidi and Aspasia laureate awarded by the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO, 2017) and is a former Marie Curie fellow (2015-2017).  

Her roots are in the Netherlands and she still keeps close ties with the University of Amsterdam, where she was an associate professor and MacGillavry  assistant professor from 2014-2019 at the ‘Anton Pannekoek’ Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and the GRAPPA institute for Gravitation and Astroparticle physics.

Before becoming faculty she completed a postdoc on both coasts of the US. From 2013-2014 she was an NASA  Einstein & Carnegie-Princeton (Lyman Spitzer) Fellow at The Carnegie Institution for Science: The Observatories and Cahill institute for astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  From 2010-2013 NASA Hubble Fellow (2010) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md and Johns Hopkins University (JHU). She also was briefly a Argelander postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bonn.

De Mink obtained her all her academic degrees at the University of Utrecht including a PhD in Astrophysics (2006-2010, cum laude), a MSc in Astrophysics (2004-2005, cum laude), a BSc in Physics ( 2000-2005, cum laude) and a BSc in Applied Math (2000-2005, cum laude).