About Me

I obtained my PhD in the Star and Planet formation group at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Michael R. Meyer. My thesis focused on the study of the mass distribution of companions (stars, brown dwarfs and planets) to stars. From August 2015 to August 2018, I have been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liege in Dr. Olivier Absil’s group. Since October 2018 I joined Hugues Sana’s team to work on direct imaging of massive binaries.

I have been looking for exoplanets in young circumstellar disks, taking advantage of the vector vortex coronagraph, which enables high-contrast imaging at very small inner working angles. The discovery of newborn planets, still embedded in the surrounding circumstellar disks, allows us to study the early phases of planet formation and the planet-disk interaction.

The application of the same techniques to higher mass stars enable us to explore areas in the mass-separation diagram of companions that are not covered by other methods and thus study the multiplicity properties of high mass binaries over all separation ranges.

Contact Details

Dr. Maddalena Reggiani
Celestijnenlaan 200d - box 2401,
3001 Leuven

maddalena.reggiani (at) kuleuven.be


ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Ph.D. in physics January 2014

Title: The Companion Mass Function across the Stellar and Substellar Regime.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. M.R. Meyer

Università degli Studi, Milan, Italy

M.Sc. (Physics) April 2009

Title: A Study of the Star Formation History in the Orion Nebula Cluster.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. G. Bertin
External Advisor: Dr. M. Robberto

Università degli Studi, Milan, Italy

B.Sc. (Physics) December 2006

Title: CMB and cosmological parameters: forecasts from future experiments in polarization.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. D. Maino


Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven

Postdoctoral Researcher October 2018 - present

STAR Institute, Université de Liège

Postdoctoral Researcher August 2015 - August 2018

ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Postdoctoral Researcher February 2014 - July 2015

Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Ph.D. student September 2009 - January 2014

Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA

Short-term Research Program September 2008 - July 2009

Publications as first author

  • Reggiani M. et al. (2018). Discovery of a point-like source and a third spiral arm in the transition disk around the Herbig Ae star MWC 758.

    Astronomy & Astrophysics, 611.

  • Reggiani, M. et al. (2016). The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits . III. The frequency of brown dwarfs and giant planets as companions to solar-type stars.

    Astronomy and Astrophysics, 586.

  • Reggiani, M. et al. (2014). Discovery of a Companion Candidate in the HD 169142 Transition Disk and the Possibility of Multiple Planet Formation.

    Astrophysical Journal Letters, 792, 23.

  • Reggiani, M., & Meyer, M. R. (2013). Universality of the companion mass-ratio distribution.

    Astronomy and Astrophysics, 553.

  • Reggiani, M. et al. (2011). Quantitative evidence of an intrinsic luminosity spread in the Orion nebula cluster.

    Astronomy and Astrophysics, 534.

  • Reggiani, M., & Meyer, M. R. (2011). Binary Formation Mechanisms: Constraints from the Companion Mass Ratio Distribution.

    Astrophysical Journal, 738.

Publications as co-author