Marieke Postma appointed professor of Theoretical Cosmology in Nijmegen

11 January 2023

Nikhef theoretical physicist Marieke Postma has been appointed professor of Theoretical cosmology and beyond the standard model particle physics at the Faculty of Science at Radboud University.

In her research, Postma looks at the implications of subatomic physics for the evolution of the universe, and vice versa. “The now gigantic universe was minuscule just after the big bang, almost 14 billion years ago; the cosmos thus harbors information on both the largest cosmological and the smallest subatomic scales. How can the possible existence of new particles and forces be tested with cosmology?”

Several big questions remain open. “Questions I am currently working on include: What is the origin of dark matter, and what makes up most of the mass in our universe? Why do we people, stars and everything else consist only of matter, where is the missing antimatter?”

Common interests

Postma: “In conversations with my new colleagues at Nijmegen I have already discovered many common interests — from dark matter to dark energy, and from cosmology to particle physics — and I look forward to starting new research projects together.”

Marieke Postma (Enschede, 1974) studied Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam and graduated in 1998. She got her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a thesis titled ‘High energy physics from 10 billion years’ worth of data: Learning new physics from the Big Bang, stars and cosmic rays.’

Vidi grant

After her PhD she held postdoc positions at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef), and the DESY Accelerator Institute in Hamburg. She then returned to Nikhef with an NWO Vidi grant, and is currently also employed there as a permanent member of the Theory group.