Benoit Neichel

WOLF’s Job :

Local Coordinator ( LAM )


During his PhD, B. Neichel worked at the Observatoire de Paris on Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) observations of distant galaxies. He used this data to compare the dynamical properties of those galaxies with their morphology, and derived constraints on the physical process at work in shaping those galaxies.

In parallel, he worked at ONERA on Wide Field Adaptive Optics (WFAO) systems, and derived the first application of this technique for extragalactic observations on Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). He then worked as Instrument Scientist for the Gemini GeMS instrument, which is the first WFAO system implemented on an 8m telescope and offered to the astronomical community. His main responsibility was to bring this challenging instrument from the first phases of integration in the lab, to the commissioning and scientific exploitation at the observatory.

In 2013, he was granted a « retour post-doc » ANR program, that he led during 4 years at Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM). This project focused on the science exploitation of the GeMS data and highlighted the main limitations in terms of photometry and astrometry of this pioneer AO system.

Building on the scientific success of his ANR program, he got hired as permanent scientist at LAM in 2015. He also joined the HARMONI team – the first light IFS for the European ELT – and took the lead for developing its WFAO mode (called Laser Tomography AO – LTAO). In 2016 he has been offered the role of Co-I for HARMONI, and in 2019, the role of deputy-PI. Since 2019, B. Neichel is also leading the Research & Development Group at LAM.