SASKIA HEKKER is Professor of Astrophysics at the Centre for Astronomy of the Heidelberg University and group leader at the Heidelberg institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS gGmbH), where she leads the Theory and Observations of Stars (TOS) group. This group is also an international node of the Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Aarhus, Denmark. She holds an MSc degree in applied physics from the Delft University of Technology, and a PhD in astrophysics from the Leiden Observatory.
She gained research experience as a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the University of Birmingham, UK, and as a Veni-fellow at the Anton Pannekoek Institute in Amsterdam. She founded and led the Stellar Ages and Galactic Evolution (SAGE) group at the Max Planck Institute for Solar system research in Göttingen. Saskia also received the Merac prize for observational astronomy in 2015. She also received an ERC starting grant in 2012 and an ERC consolidator grant in 2020.
Her current interests are in stellar structure and evolution, investigated through stellar oscillations (asteroseismology). For these studies, she has involvement in multiple space missions: CoRoT, Kepler, K2, TESS and in the future Plato mission, as well as ground-based facilities such as SDSS.