Laurent Eyer

Dr Laurent Eyer

Maître d'enseignement et de recherche / Gaia CU7 Leader

Observatoire de Genève S264
+41 22 379 23 61
+41 22 379 22 05


Laurent Eyer obtained his PhD in 1998 at the Geneva Observatory, Switzerland, working with Michel Grenon on the analysis of the variability data from Hipparcos, resulting in the Hipparcos Variability Annex and Light Curves (Volumes 11 and 12 of the Hipparcos Catalogue). During his first postdoc, in the Catholic University of Leuven, he worked on exploiting Hipparcos discoveries on certain variable star types, the gamma Doradus stars. A subsequent post-doctoral position at Princeton University was focused on the analysis of surveys (OGLE, ASAS, SDSS) providing experience in the handling of massive data sets of direct relevance to Gaia. Laurent is currently working on the Gaia mission, a cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency. See Laurent’s CV.


Current Activities

  • coordination of  the Gaia CU7, Coordination Unit on Variability Processing and Analysis.
  • research on time domain astronomy and photometry mostly (see Research Interests).
  • teaching at the University of Geneva: Chapitres choisis de physique stellaire.
  • part of the Gaia DPACE (Data Processing and Analysis Consortium Executive).
  • member of the IAU Membership Committee.
  • member of the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy and of the European Astronomical Society.


Past Activities

  • co-organisation and lecturer of the astrostatstics course at the department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva, and co-organisers of two astrostatistics schools.
  • member of the IAU commission 45: Stellar classification.
  • member of the Gaia European Science Foundation steering committee.
  • member of the European Gaia ELSA-RTN (FP6 Research Training Network).
  • participation in observing missions: La Silla Chile, Paranal Chile, La Palma Spain, Mount Palomar (unfortunately cloudy…) USA, SAAO South Africa, Jungfrau Switzerland.
  • member of the European Gaia GREAT-ITN (FP7 Initial Training Network).
  • member of the IAU commissions 27: Variable stars.


Research Interests
Laurent’s initial interest has been on photometry and variable stars, but it widened to many different topics of astrophysics: astrometry, distance scale, Galactic structure, detection of QSOs. Laurent has also interests in statistics, time series analysis and machine learning technics.
PhD students
  1. Dr Maroussia Roelens, “Short timescale variability in the Gaia era”, 2018
  2. Dr Lovro Palaversa: “Variability and standard candles in the era of new large-scale surveys”, 2015
  3. Mihaly Varadi (currently interrupted his PhD)
  4. Dr Richard Anderson: “Classical Cepheids: High-precision Velocimetry, Cluster Membership, and the Effect of Rotation”, 2013
  5. Dr Maxime Spano: “Analyse photométrique d’étoiles évoluées dans le contexte de la variabilité à long terme”, 2012
  6. Dr Jean-Marc Nicoletti (EPFL, PhD director: Prof. S.Morgenthaler, L.Eyer): “La détection de periodicités cachées”, 2012