Welcome to Institute for Astronomy

Quanz, Sascha P., Dr.

Research Groups

Extragalactic Astrophysics
(Lead: Prof. Carollo)
Observational Cosmology
(Lead: Prof. Lilly)
Star and Planet Formation
(Lead: Prof. Meyer)
(Lead: Prof. Refregier)
Black Holes
(Lead: Prof. Schawinski)
ETH Zurich
Institute for Astronomy
HIT Floor J 22.1
Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27
8093 Zurich
+41 44 633 2830 phone
+41 44 633 1238 fax

sascha.quanz (at)

Research Interests and Science Projects

I am interested in the physical and chemical properties of extrasolar planets and in their formation processes. High-contrast  imaging and data analysis techniques help me to search for, directly image, and characterize exoplanets and their birthplaces the so-called protoplanetary disks.

I am currently involved in several working groups of the science team for ESO's new planet finding instrument SPHERE, which is to be installed at the VLT in late 2013.

In addtion, I am an official member of the ERIS instrument science team and act as local Project Coordinator managing the ETH contribution to the project. ERIS is a 1-5 micron instrument for the Cassegrain focus of UT4 at the VLT. It will benefit from the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) including the deformable secondary mirror (DSM).

Finally, I am an official member of the METIS science team. METIS is currently foreseen to be the third instrument installed at the E-ELT, ESO's 39-m telescope, in the early 2020s.

In 2012, I served as National Project Manager in an international consortium that carried out an assessment study for ESA's M-class mission candidate EChO and I supported the related consortium science working group as deputy Project Scientist.

Substitute lecturer for Prof. Dr. Michael R. Meyer and PD Dr. Hans Martin Schmid. Semester and Master projects.
Short CV
Aug. 2011 – present: Senior research associate (Oberassistent), ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Aug. 2009 – Jul. 2011: Postdoctoral researcher (Assistent), ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Sep. 2007 - Aug. 2009: Senior Associate Management Consultant, McKinsey & Company, Germany

Apr. 2004 - Jul. 2007: Ph.D. in Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany

Apr. 1999 - Apr. 2004: Diploma in Physics, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Honors/Awards Mar. 2013 - present: Liaison professor of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Feb. 2013 - present: Lecturer for the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

Jul. 2007: PhD awarded with distinction (summa cum laude)

2004 - 2007: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung PhD scholarship for intellectually gifted students

2000 - 2004: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung student scholarship for intellectually gifted students

Press releases
Feb. 2013: "The Birth of a Giant Planet?" (ESO release, ETH life article)

Jul. 2010: "New Mode for VLT's NACO to Image Exoplanets" (ESO release, ETH life article)


Please click here for comprehensive list of scientific publications.

Selection of recent publications in refereed journals:


Avenhaus, H., Quanz, S.P. et al. (2013): "Structures in the protoplanetary disk of HD142527 seen in polarized scattered light" (link)

Garufi, A., Quanz, S.P. et al. (2013): "Small vs. large dust grains in transitional disks: do different cavity sizes indicate a planet?. SAO 206462 (HD 135344B) in polarized light with VLT/NACO" (link)

Parker & Quanz (2013): "On the frequency of planetary systems around G-dwarfs" (link)

Quanz et al. (2013b): "Gaps in the HD169142 protoplanetary disk revealed by polarimetric imaging: Signs of ongoing planet formation?" (link)

Quanz et al. (2013a): "A Young Protoplanet Candidate Embedded in the Circumstellar Disk of HD 100546" (link)


Amara & Quanz (2012): "PynPoint: An Image Processing Package for Finding Exoplanets" (link)

Quanz et al. (2012c): "Searching for young Jupiter analogs around AP Col: L-band high-contrast imaging of the closest pre-main sequence star" (link)

Quanz et al. (2012b): "Direct imaging constraints on planet populations detected by microlensing" (link)

Quanz et al. (2012a): "Resolving the inner regions of the HD 97048 circumstellar disk with VLT/NACO polarimetric differential imaging" (link)

Parker & Quanz (2012): "The effects of dynamical interactions on planets in young substructured star clusters" (link)


Quanz et al. (2011b): "Very Large Telescope/NACO Polarimetric Differential Imaging of HD100546—Disk Structure and Dust Grain Properties between 10 and 140 AU" (link)

Quanz et al. (2011a):"Searching for Gas Giant Planets on Solar System Scales: VLT NACO/APP Observations of the Debris Disk Host Stars HD172555 and HD115892" (link)


Quanz et al. (2010):"First Results from Very Large Telescope NACO Apodizing Phase Plate: 4 Micron Images of The Exoplanet beta Pictoris" (link)


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