I am a senior staff scientist at the Observatório Nacional/MCTI in Rio de Janeiro and research collaborator at the University of São Paulo, both located in Brazil.

I am the Project Scientist for a novel optical sky survey performed with a small robotic telescope located at the Cerro-Tololo Inter-american Observatory in Chile. I lead a team that will be among the first to use the James Webb Space Telescope to observe the most distant black holes in the universe in 2022, and our observations will be supported by several programs with the Hubble Space Telescope. I am a member of the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph project that will facilitate massive spectroscopic studies of distant galaxies with the 8-m Subaru Telescope from 2024. I also served on the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the 2B$ GMT super-telescope that is expected to perform groundbreaking research about the early universe and exoplanets in the 2030s. I am a reviewer for the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development that aims to build a better world using astronomy as a tool for inspiration.

Previously I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, The Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics and the Johns Hopkins University. I obtained my undergraduate and PhD degrees at the University of Leiden studying cosmic radio sources in the group of Profs. George Miley and Huub Röttgering.

—————————————— Contact

Dr. Roderik Overzier
Observatório Nacional
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
R. José Cristino, 77
São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro
CEP 20921-400


Research and science publications —————————————————

My research interests include the origin of black holes, galaxies, and the large-scale structure and reionization of the Universe. My research has been published in over 100 peer-reviewed articles, including two in Nature, one in Science and one review paper. For a full listing of my past work see my publication records at the SAO/NASA ADS.

—————————————————————— Collaboration Projects

I am or have been involved with a number of larger international astrophysics projects and programs. You can read more about each of them here:

Giant Magellan Telescope (International Science Advisory Committee, Executive and Scientific Council Brazil, GMACS Science Advisory Committee)
Southern Photometric Local Universe Survey (S-PLUS)
Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS)
Galaxy UV Explorer (GALEX)
Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
Athena X-ray Observatory (ATHENA)
Millennium Run Observatory (MROBS)
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU-OAD)

Students —————————————————————————————

Current students
Catarina Aydar (PhD)
Larissa Fagundes Pereira (MSc)
Gabriela Lima Neves (undergraduate)

Past students and postdocs
Ainil Abdullah (undergraduate)
Rachael Alexandroff (undergraduate)
Catarina Aydar (MSc)
Maria Luisa Buzzo (MSc)
Gabriel Valim Calçada (undergraduate)
João Gabriel Caribé (undergraduate)
Prof. Dr. Yi-Kuan Chiang (MSc/PhD)
Gemma Gil (MSc)
Dr. Maryory Loaiza-Agudelo (PhD)
Dr. Amanda Lopes (Postdoc)
Rodrigo Magalhães (undergraduate/MSc)
Dr. Murilo Marinello (PhD)
Luiz Felipe Menezes (MSc)
Sofia Palazzo Corner (MSc)
Ben Pepper (MSc)
Ana Carolina Posses Nascimento (MSc)
Mariana Rodrigues (undergraduate)
Karine Sagnard (undergraduate)
Lieke van Son (MSc)
Peter Usherwood (MSc)
Dr. Bruna Vajgel (Postdoc)
Isabel van Vledder (MSc)
Prof. Dr. Jing Wang (PhD)

————————————————————————————— Teaching

I am a professor in the graduate school of ON/MCTI, where I have taught the following courses:

Black holes, quasars and active galaxies (2020, 2022; Observatório Nacional)
Active galactic nuclei (2021; University of São Paulo)
Extragalactic Astrophysics (2014, 2016; Observatório Nacional)
Radiative Processes in Astrophysics (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022; Observatório Nacional)

Press and media highlights ————————————————————

James Webb: the archeologist of the stars – Superinteressante, 2022 (Portuguese)
Black hole: what is it and how does it form – Diário do Nordeste, 2022 (Portuguese)
The largest space telescope – FAPESP Magazine, 2021
Interview about JWST – Jornal Nacional, Brazilian National TV news, 2021
Star fossil – FAPESP Magazine, 2021
Building a scientific career in Brazil – Dutch Innovation Network, 2021
Holes of every size – FAPESP Magazine, 2020
Galaxy cluster in formation detected at 13 billion lightyears – Superinteressante, 2019
Brazilian astronomers are mapping half the sky – Superinteressante, 2019
Discovery of the most distant radio galaxy – BBC News Brazil, 2018
Confirmation of the most distant known radio galaxy, Gemini Science Highlights, 2018
Double or Nothing: Astronomers Rethink Quasar Environment, Subaru Press Release, 2018
The road to uncover the first light in the universe – Globo, 2014
Swiss cheese galaxy resembles those in the youthful universe – Science Mag., 2014
Leidse sterrenkundigen grijpen kansen in Brazilië – Universiteit Leiden, 2013
First Light for the Millennium Run Observatory – MPA, 2012
New Evidence for inside-out formation of galaxy disks – MPA, 2011
Massive, Dense Nuclei in Young Starbursts – MPA, 2010
Quasars in the Early Universe: Smokestacks of the first Cosmic Cities? – MPA, 2009
Hubble captures galaxy in the making – NASA press release, 2006
A tale of two record-breaking clusters – NASA press release, 2004

——————————————————————— Recent papers

Conditions for direct black hole seed collapse near a radio-loud quasar 1 Gyr after the Big Bang (R. Overzier) 2022, ApJ, 926, 114
VLT/X-Shooter Spectroscopy of Lyman Break Analogs: Direct-method O/H Abundances and Nitrogen Enhancements (M. Loaiza-Agudelo, R. Overzier & T. Heckman) 2020, ApJ, 891, 19
VLT/SINFONI study of black hole growth in high-redshift radio-loud quasars from the CARLA survey (M. Marinello, R. Overzier et al.) 2020, MNRAS, 492, 1991
Discovery of a radio galaxy at z = 5.72 (A. Saxena, M. Marinello, R. Overzier et al.) 2018, MNRAS, 480, 2733

(All papers: see my publication records at the SAO/NASA ADS)

Some talks and lectures ——————————————————————

The first Giga-year: protoclusters, black holes and reionization, 2022, Sesto, Italy
Do quasars care about the environment?, Quasars and Galaxies across Time, 2022 (youtube)
The Giant Magellan Telescope, Workshop on New Physics in Space, 2021 (youtube)
Galaxy cluster formation from cosmic noon to dawn, ESO Conference, 2021 (youtube)
Roundtable discussion on collaborations in astronomy, ICTP/IFT-UNESP, 2019 (youtube)
Physics of the high redshift universe with ELT spectroscopy, IAG Adv. School, 2018 (youtube)