About Me

I am currently a researcher in astronomy at Heidelberg University finishing up publications from my final PhD project. In 2019, I graduated from Heidelberg University with a PhD in astronomy (Dr. rer. nat.). Before that, I was a PhD student in the Star-Formation Group of Prof. Dr. Ralf Klessen at Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, Heidelberg. My main research interests lie in the field of first star formation, i.e. the evolution of Population III (Pop III) stars and the effects of their radiative feedback on their surroundings. In particular, I use (magneto-) hydrodynamical simulations to study the influence of rotation, turbulence, and magnetic fields on the formation of Pop III stars. Furthermore, together with collaborateurs at Portsmith University and at NAOJ, Tokyo, I studied the relevance of photoevaporations of primordial minihalos by nearby Pop III stars and the subsequent minihalo evolution including chemical mixing when the Pop III star goes off as supernova.

As PhD student, I was a member of the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD) and the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics (HGSFP).


Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany

PhD in Astronomy 2014 - 2019

PhD Thesis: 'Diversity of Population III Star Formation'
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, Heidelberg, Germany
Supervisors: apl. Prof. Dr. Simon Glover, Prof. Dr. Ralf Klessen
Member of IMPRS-HD and HGSFP

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Master of Science in Physics 2012-2014

Master Thesis: 'Non-Linear Structure Formation in Scalar-Tensor Gravity'
University Observatory, Munich, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jochen Weller

University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK

Postgraduate Diploma in Physics (EuroMasters) 2012-2013

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Xavier Calmet

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Bachelor of Science in Physics 2009-2012

Bachelor Thesis: 'Galactic Magnetic Fields'
University Observatory, Munich, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch

Gymnasium Christian-Ernestinum, Bayreuth, Germany

Abitur 2009

Focus subjects: Physics, Latin, Religious Education, Geography


Formation sites of Population III star formation: The effects of different levels of rotation and turbulence on the fragmentation behaviour of primordial gas
Wollenberg, Katharina M. J.; Glover, Simon C. O.; Clark, Paul. C.; Klessen, Ralf S.
MNRAS (2020; accepted for publication)

Diversity of Population III Star Formation
Influence of rotation, turbulence, and magnetic fields on the fragmentation behavior of Population III protostellar disks and implications for the later evolution of the star-forming environment
Wollenberg, Katharina M. J.
PhD Thesis, Heidelberg University, 2019

Stabilizing Population III Accretion Disks with Magnetic Fields
Wollenberg, Katharina M. J.; Glover, Simon C. O.; Bromm, Volker; Klessen, Ralf S. Proceedings article in Memorie Della Società Astronomica Italiana, Vol. 88 n.4, 2017, p. 864-865

How the First Stars Regulated Star Formation. II. Enrichment by Nearby Supernovae
Chen, Ke-Jung; Whalen, Daniel J.; Wollenberg, Katharina M. J.; Glover, Simon C. O.; Klessen, Ralf S.
ApJ (2017), 844, 111



  • Numerical codes: Arepo, FLASH, ZEUS-MP
  • Programming languages & software: Python, YT, Fortran, C, LaTeX, Gnuplot

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Contact Details

Dr. Katharina Wollenberg
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics
Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2
69120 Heidelberg, Germany