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Birrer started as an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook in January 2023. Previously, Birrer was a Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University (2019-2022) and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (2017-2019). Birrer received his PhD from ETH Zurich in 2016 and did his undergraduate education (Bachelor and Master in Physics) at the same institution.

Research Statement
Simon Birrer's research focus is to probe fundamental physics on cosmological scales. Birrer and his group are primary using gravitational lensing, a phenomena described by general relativity, causing light to follow curved paths when traveling through inhomogeneous matter distributions. In the strongest regime, gravitational lensing can lead to multiple appearances of the same source and highly distorts images - know as strong gravitational lensing. Birrer’s scientific expertise is the interface between the exquisite data sets available on one side and the fundamental theory predictions on the other side. Birrer’s group is actively developing open-source advanced computational and statistical tools to extract detailed and robust information from strong lensing about the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Find out more about Birrer's research, teaching, software development and outreach on his personal website. For research opportunities, visit the Birrer group page.


A simulation of light rays emitted by a distant galaxy that are gravitationally bent around an intervening object acting as a gravitational lens. The result is a highly distorted image known as an Einstein ring.