Astrochemistry, the study of molecules in astrophysical environments, has become an invaluable part of astrophysical studies ranging from planet forming disks to high-z galaxies. This development was made possible by the arrival of a suite of new telescopes in the past decade — Spitzer, Herschel and ALMA – and was realized by the pioneering work and ongoing leadership by Ewine van Dishoeck. To honor Ewine’s outstanding contributions to astrochemistry this 4-day meeting will review the successes in astrochemistry in unveiling star and planet formation, present ongoing astrochemical theoretical and laboratory studies, and observational investigations focused on ALMA, and peer into the future of astrochemistry in the age of JWST.

The meeting is organized around five science themes:

  1. The astrochemical water trail
  2. Photon-dominated regions during star and planet formation
  3. Origins of astrochemical complexity
  4. Role of dust and grain growth for planet formation
  5. Chemistry as a tracer of physics in astronomical environments
Within each theme we imagine to explore the past, present and future questions that characterize(d) it, and discuss how observations, theory, laboratory efforts, and new instrumentation contribute(d) to solving these questions.

Professor of Molecular Astrophysics

This meeting is organized to honor and celebrate the leadership and great contributions of Ewine van Dishoeck to astrochemistry. Ewine received her Ph.D. (cum laude) in Leiden University, the Netherlands, followed by three years as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. Between 1988-1990 she was an assistant professor in cosmochemistry at the Caltech, and it is therefore fitting that we 28 years and many, many achievements later return to Caltech to explore the past, present and future of astrochemistry.

Ewine is currently the president-elect of the International Astronomical Union. She has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of her pioneering work in astrochemistry and her leadership in developing the future of this exciting field at the intersection of physical chemistry and astrophysics. These recognitions include the Gold Medal of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society in 1994, the Spinoza Prize in 2000, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2015, the James Craig Watson Medal in 2018, and most recently, the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for 2018. Ewine is a member of both the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences since 2001.
Ted Bergin
John Black
Paola Caselli
Ilse Cleeves
Neal Evans
Edith Fayolle
Kenji Furuya
Thomas Henning
Eric Herbst
Lars Kristensen
Thanja Lamberts
Harold Linnartz
David Neufeld
Paola Pinilla
Nami Sakai
Leonardo Testi
Xander Tielens
Floris van der Tak
Catherine Walsh
  • Karin Öberg (Co-Chair) - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Agata Karska (Co-Chair) - Toruń Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University
  • Jes Jørgensen (Co-Chair) - Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
  • Ruud Visser - European Southern Observatory
  • Nienke van der Marel - Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
  • Klaus Pontoppidan - Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Frank Helmich - SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
  • Michiel Hogerheijde - Leiden Observatory
  • Maria Drozdovskaya - Center for Space and Habitability (CSH), Universität Bern
  • Geoff Blake (Chair) - California Institute of Technology
  • Edith Fayolle - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Umut Yildiz - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Olivia Wilkins - California Institute of Technology
  • Cam Buzard - California Institute of Technology
  • Christine Benoit - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Karen Prairie Ransom - National Radio Astronomy Observatory