Guinevere Kauffmann

Guinevere Alice Mei-Ing Kauffmann is born in California. She is an astrophysicist and is known for her work studying galaxies among other subjects.

Guinevere Kauffmann
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Spouse(s)Simon White
AwardsGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2007)
Scientific career
InstitutionsMPI for Extraterrestrial Physics,
MPI for Astrophysics

Academic careerEdit

Kauffmann obtained a B.Sc.(Hons) in applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town in 1988 and a M.Sc. in astronomy in 1990. She obtained her Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Cambridge in 1993, working with Simon White.

She was a member of the Miller Research Fellows program at the University of California, Berkeley and was then employed as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany. She became head of a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 2003. As of 2013, she is one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics.[1]

Her areas of research interest include models of galaxy formation, analysis of observed properties of galaxies including their atomic and molecular gas, active galactic nuclei, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.[2]

Kauffmann has coordinated a Marie Curie Research Training Network of the European Union that brought together researchers from all over Europe for interdisciplinary projects.[3]


In 1997, Guinevere Kauffmann received the Otto Hahn Medal.[4]

In 2002, she received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis.[5][4]

In 2007, she received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,[4] which is the highest honour awarded in German research.

In 2009, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[6]

In April 2010, she was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, with the Cross of Merit (on ribbon) and the certificate in the name of the German President. The award ceremony was carried out by Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer on 21 April 2010.[3]

In 2010, she was elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.[7]

In 2012, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.[8][9]

Bullying AllegationsEdit

In February 2018, the German news magazine Spiegel Online published an article about abuse of power by senior scientists at the MPI for Astrophysics.[10] Several emails obtained by BuzzFeed News Germany revealed in June 2018 that the allegations concerned MPA director Guinevere Kauffmann, who was accused of harassing and bullying students and scientists for years.[11][12][13] Leaked emails published by BuzzFeed News Germany also include what has been described as racist, sexist and homophobic statements directed at employees and students. Responding to questions by the journal Nature, Kauffmann denied the accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia, claiming that she is merely interested in cultural differences between people and Buzzfeed had made severe errors. She conceded that as a student she was subject to "very high pressure supervision", acknowledging however that such a mentoring style "has now become unacceptable" and claiming to have changed her behavior substantially after complaints were received.[14] This and other cases [15] sparked a general debate about the abuse of power in science. [16][17]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Kauffmann, G., White, S. D. M. und Guiderdoni, B.: Formation and Evolution of Galaxies in Merging Dark Matter Halos, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 264, 201, 1993.
  • Kauffmann, G., Nusser, A. und Steinmetz, M.: Galaxy Formation and Large Scale Bias, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 286, 795, 1997.
  • Kauffmann, G. und Charlot S.: Chemical Enrichment and the Origin of the Colour-Magnitude Relation of Elliptical Galaxies in a Hierarchical Merger Model, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 294, 708, 1998.
  • Kauffmann, G. und Haehnelt, M.G.: A Unified Model for the Evolution of Galaxies and Quasars, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 311, 576, 2000.
  • Kauffmann, G., Heckman, T.M., Tremonti, C., Brinchmann, J., Charlot, S., White, S.D.M., Ridgway, S.E. and 6 coauthors: The host galaxies of active galactic nuclei, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 346, 1055, 2003
  • Kauffmann, G. und T.M. Heckman: Feast and Famine: regulation of black hole growth in low-redshift galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 397, 135, 2009.
  • Kauffmann, G., Li, Cheng, Fu, Jian, Saintonge, Amelie, Catinella, Barbara, Tacconi, Linda J., Kramer, Carsten, Genzel, Reinhard, Moran, Sean und Schiminovich, David: COLD GASS, an IRAM legacy survey of molecular gas in massive galaxies - III. Comparison with semianalytic models of galaxy formation, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 422, 997, 2012.
  • Kauffmann, G.: Quantitative constraints on starburst cycles in galaxies with stellar masses in the range 108 − 1010M⊙, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 441, 2717, 2015.
  • Kauffmann, G.: Physical origin of the large-scale conformity in the specific star formation rates of galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 454, 1840, 2015.
  • Kauffmann, G.: Properties of AGNs selected by their mid-IR colours: evidence for a physically distinct mode of black hole growth, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 480, 3201, 2018.


  1. ^ "Kauffmann, Guinevere". (in German). Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-01-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Garching, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik. "MPA :: Federal Cross of Merit for Guinevere Kauffmann". Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  4. ^ a b c "Dr. Guinevere Kauffmann". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  5. ^ "List of winners of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 1978 - 2019" (PDF).
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "List of Members". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  8. ^ "MPA :: Guinevere Kauffmann elected to the US National Academy of Sciences Press Release". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  9. ^ "2012 NAS Members and Foreign Associates Elected". Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  10. ^ Kristin Haug (2018-02-27). "Machtmissbrauch an Hochschulen: "Ihr Verhalten war unvorhersehbar, und ich hatte Angst und Stress"". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  11. ^ Germany, BuzzFeed. "A Star Scientist From The Max Planck Society Allegedly Harassed And Bullied Her Colleagues". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Mobbing-Vorwürfe erschüttern Garchinger Vorzeige-Institut". Sü Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  13. ^ Thiel, Thomas. "Willkür, Angst, zerstörte Träume". Frankfurter Allgemeine.
  14. ^ Abbott, Alison (2018). "Max Planck astrophysicist at centre of bullying allegations speaks up". Nature. 559 (7713): 159–160. Bibcode:2018Natur.559..159A. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05634-8. PMID 29991783.
  15. ^ "Swiss university dissolves astronomy institute after misconduct allegations". Science. 2017-10-25.
  16. ^ "No place for bullies in science". Nature. 559 (7713): 151. 2018. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05683-z. PMID 29991794.
  17. ^ Mehta, Devang (2018). "Lab heads should learn to talk about racism". Nature. 559 (7713): 153. Bibcode:2018Natur.559..153M. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05646-4. PMID 29980736.