Rhys Seeburger

I am

Rhys Seeburger

PhD Student in Astronomy

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

About Me

Hello! I am Rhys Seeburger, also known as Luzian, and I am an IMPRS PhD Student at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, in the group of Hans-Walter Rix. I previously completed my MPhys in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2021. My current work focuses on the detection and eventual characterisation of dark objects (such as non-accreting black holes) in the Milky Way Galaxy. As such, I (plan to) use spectroscopic, astrometric and photometric data to comprehensively search our home galaxy for these fascinating objects. Our goal is to learn more about the final stages of stellar evolution, especially for stars in multiple systems.

I care a lot about Astronomy as a diverse and inclusive discipline, and as such am very engaged in Outreach and Activism. If you have ideas on how we can make the field more accessible, or even just tell the public about what we do, and want to collaborate, feel free to drop an Email.


  • Binary stars & Stellar evolution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Outreach and Teaching


  • Python (Intermediate), Julia, Bash, C++, ADQL (Beginner)
  • Matplotlib, Pandas, Numpy, Scipy, Scikit-learn, PyTorch
  • VSCode, git, conda, WSL, Docker


  • All
  • PhD
  • UGrad

Methane Biosignatures on Archean Earth-like Exoplanets

How difficult is our search for life on other planets?

Hunting for Dark Companions

Finding the elusive dormant stellar mass black holes in the Milky Way.

Weak Lensing Cosmology with Machine Learning

Cosmological parameter estimation using convolutional neural networks.

Recent Publications

ADS Search
Arxiv Search

h-index: 3
8 refereed publications
0 publications from large collaborations
0 other publications
213 citations
(from non-collaboration papers)

View all publications

Showing 5 most recent non-collaboration articles from ADS

  • "What excites the optical emission in X-ray-selected galaxies?"
    Pulatova, N. G., Rix, H.-W., Tugay, A. V., Zadorozhna, L. V., Seeburger, R., Demianenko, M., 2024, Astronomy and Astrophysics, A223 [0 citations]
  • "Autonomous disentangling for spectroscopic surveys"
    Seeburger, R., Rix, H.-W., El-Badry, K., Xiang, M., Fouesneau, M., 2024, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1935 [0 citations]
  • "The Age Distribution of Stellar Orbit Space Clumps"
    Fürnkranz, V., Rix, H.-W., Coronado, J., Seeburger, R., 2024, The Astrophysical Journal, 113 [1 citations]
  • "A red giant orbiting a black hole"
    El-Badry, K., Rix, H.-W., Cendes, Y., Rodriguez, A. C., Conroy, C., Quataert, E., Hawkins, K., Zari, E., Hobson, M., Breivik, K., Rau, A., Berger, E., Shahaf, S., Seeburger, R., Burdge, K. B., Latham, D. W., Buchhave, L. A., Bieryla, A., Bashi, D., Mazeh, T., Faigler, S., 2023, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 4323 [71 citations]
  • "Linking Methanogenesis in Low-Temperature Hydrothermal Vent Systems to Planetary Spectra: Methane Biosignatures on an Archean-Earth-like Exoplanet"
    Seeburger, R., Higgins, P. M., Whiteford, N. P., Cockell, C. S., 2023, Astrobiology, 415 [0 citations]



July 2nd 2024

Autonomous Disentangling

GALAH Science Telecon

May 6th 2024

Black Hole Companions

GC Retreat 2024, Ringberg, Germany

July 12th 2023

Taking Spectral Disentangling to the Industrial Scale

EAS 2023, Krakow, Poland

March 1st, 2023

Hunting for Dark Companions

The Time Domain in the Era of Astronomical Big Data, WISE Observatory, Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Nov 30th, 2022

Finding Black Holes that are actually Black

Galaxy Coffee, Max Planck institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany

Nov 18th, 2022

Any Star could be a Binary

The Impact of Binaries on Stellar Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany

May 12th, 2022

Disentangling Composite Spectra

IMPRS Seminar, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

July 14th 2023

You Can't Be What You Can't See

EAS 2023, Krakow, Poland

May 17th, 2023

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2023

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany

May 9th, 2023

LGBTQIA+ in Astronomy

GC Retreat, Schöntal, Germany

Feb 18th, 2023

LGBT+ Astronomy Icons

OUTer Space, Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

Sept 10th, 2022

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Astronomy

IMPRS Retreat, Salzburg, Austria



2021 - present

PhD Candidate in Astronomy

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany

PhD project supervised by Hans-Walter Rix (MPIA) and Kareem El-Badry (CfA - Harvard Smithonian) on finding compact objects in binary systems in the Milky Way.

Python, Binary Stars, Compact Objects, Spectroscopy


MPhys degree in Astrophysics

University of Edinburgh, UK

MPhys project with Catherine Heymans and Benjamin Giblin, using Convolutional Neural Networks to infer cosmological parameters from weak lensing shear maps.

Python, Cosmology, Weak Lensing, Machine Learning


Matura, Sacre Coeur Wien

Vienna, Austria

High school diploma from Sacre Coeur Wien, Vienna, Austria. Graduated with 1.0 average (highest possible grade) in English, German, Mathematics, Physics and Informatics. Prescientific paper on the topic of "The Double Slit Experiment - Modern Quantum Physics" with a grade of 1.0.

Outreach Experience

Jun 2023 & Jun 2024

Explore Science Volunteer

Explore Science, Herzogenriedpark, Mannheim

Volunteering at the Explore Science event in Mannheim, Germany. I helped run the combined Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, and Haus der Astronomie stand, where we had a variety of hands-on activities for Astronomy fans of all ages.

2022 - present

Outreach Fellow

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy & Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

Conducting public outreach tours at the Haus der Astronomie, as well as supporting the staff at Haus der Astronomie with their outreach events.

Feb 2023

Organiser, OUTer Space

Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

Outreach event for LGBT+ people and allies, consisting of a planetarium show, tours of the telescopes, the stellar model, as well as talks from LGBT+ Scientists and Allies and a Q&A Panel.

Oct 2022

Visiting Scientist, Tag der Naturwissenschaften

Experimenta Science Center, Heilbronn, Germany

Large scale outreach event for the general public at the Experimenta Science Center in Heilbronn, Germany. I was interviewed about my studies and work as an Astronomer, answering questions from attending high school students.

Apr 2018

Science Communicator, Edinburgh Science Festival

Edinburgh, UK

Two-week long science communication event in Edinburgh, UK. I was responsible for explaining the science behind a variety of exhibits to the general public, primarily aimed at families with children.

Community Engagement

  • All
  • EDI

Teaching and Mentoring

Helping others to learn and grow.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Making Astronomy a more inclusive place for all.

Student Representation

Engaging in University politics and student representation.



Feb 2023

Mein Nachbar, das Schwarze Loch

Sterne und Weltraum


Aug 2022

Wolkig mit Aussicht auf Edelsteinregen

Sterne und Weltraum


July 2022

5000 Augen erfassen die größte Galaxienkarte der Welt

Sterne und Weltraum



May 2024

Mein Nachbar, das Schwarze Loch

Faszination Astronomie, Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

Oct 2023

Das nächstgelegene Schwarze Loch

MPIA Open Day, Heidelberg, Germany

Mar 2023

Mein Nachbar, das Schwarze Loch

Faszination Astronomie Online


Sept 2021

Searching for Life on Other Planets

100 Hours of Astronomy



Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy

Königstuhl 17, Heidelberg, BW 69117