I am astrophysicist and docent (assistant professor) at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia. I conduct my research work at the Center for Astrophysics and Cosmology. I teach courses at the Bachelor level and I coordinate the outreach/promotional activity of the School of Science, University of Nova Gorica.

I obtained my PhD in 2017 at the Physics Department at Stockholm University and the Oskar Klein Centre, with the thesis Supernovae seen through gravitational telescopes, where I was working under the supervision of Rahman Amanullah and Ariel Goobar (the observational cosmology group). I did my Bachelor and Master studies in Italy, at Bologna and Trieste University.


Latest highlight of the LensWatch collaboration, lensed supernova with the James Webb Space Telescope! NASA press release here. Read here our latest papers on Supernova Encore and Supernova H0pe.

The third call for applications for SMASH postdoctoral Fellowships on Cosmology and time domain astrophysics with the Vera Rubin Observatory , co-funded by Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, will open in summer 2024. For more info, see here

Photo Gallery and Videos from the January 2024 observing run at the New Technology Telescope, La Silla Observatory in Chile.


My research interests lie in the field of observational astrophysics and cosmology, especially time domain astronomy. My research has showed the feasibility of searches for strongly lensed supernovae with ground-based facilities and resulted in the discovery of five of the most distant core-collapse supernovae with implications on the volumetric core-collapse rates to very high redshifts. It has furthermore showed the utility of supernovae for cosmological studies, by investigating the properties of the strongly lensed and very distant supernova. My current research also includes studying tidal disruption flares and searching for short gamma-ray bursts from supernovae induced by axion-like particles which are candidates for dark matter.

The list of my pubblications can be found here.

Projects financed by the Slovenian research agency (ARRS) :

  • 2023-2025: BI-VB/23-25-005 - Bilateral collaboration with the Institute for Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK. Project title: Exploring new frontiers in stellar physics and cosmology with supernovae and strong lensing (Raziskave v fiziki zvezd in kozmologiji z uporabo supernov in močnega gravitacijskega lečenja). P.I. Petrushevska.
  • BI-US/22-24-006 - Bilateral collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl), US. Project title: Unveiling the expansion of the Universe with a novel strategy: strongly lensed supernovae with the Roman Space Telescope (Razkrivanje širjenja vesolja z močno lečenimi supernovami z vesoljskim teleskopom Roman Space Telescope). P.I. Petrushevska.
  • 2019-2022 - Z1-1853 Postdoc project , title "Unveiling the expansion of the Universe with strongly lensed supernovae (Razkrivanje širjenja vesolja z močno lečenimi supernovami). P.I. Petrushevska
  • BI-US/2019–2021 - Bilateral project grant with the USA funded by ARRS: Unveiling the nature of the dark matter with a novel strategy: search for short gamma-ray bursts from supernovae induced by axionlike particles; P.I. Petrushevska, Program coordinator in USA: Dr. Manuel Meyer at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University.

  • Strongly lensed supernovae

    Gravitational lenses such as galaxies and galaxy clusters, can magnify the flux of background galaxies. These galaxies at high redshift can host supernovae which, thanks to the magnification boost due to lensing, can be observed, otherwise too faint to be detected by current telescopes. Under the right circumstances, the background galaxies may also have multiple images due to the strong lensing. Of particular interest is to detect lensed supernovae of type Ia, because of their standard brightness. They could help improve lensing models and, if multiple images are observed, the Hubble constant can be measured independently. You can read about my work on strongly lensed supernovae here.
    It is quite exciting that just in recent years, we have detected the multiple images from gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernovae ( iPTF16geu , SN Zwicky, SN H0pe and SN Encore).

    Luminous flares from the nuclear regions of galaxies

    Thanks to the advent of large-scale optical surveys, a diverse set of flares from the nuclear regions of galaxies has recently been discovered. These include the disruption of stars by supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies - nuclear transients known as tidal disruption events (TDEs). Active galactic nuclei (AGN) can show extreme changes in the brightness and emission line intensities, often referred to as changing-look AGN (CLAGN).  Given the physical and observational similarities, the interpretation and distinction of nuclear transients as CLAGN or TDEs remains difficult. One of the obstacles of making progress in the field is the lack of well-sampled data of long-lived nuclear outbursts in AGN. In our recent work on PS16dtm, we studied a nuclear transient in a Narrow Line Seyfert 1 (NLSy1) galaxy which has been proposed to be a TDE candidate. There, we showed our multi-year spectroscopic and photometric study of PS16dtm, which can help us to better understand the outbursts originating in NLSy1 galaxies. Read here our recently published paper on PS16dtm.

    In another study, led by Philip Wiseman from the University of Southampton, we reported the observations and the analysis of the most energetic non-quasar transient ever observed, AT2021lwx. It appeared in Guardian, BBC, Time, New York Times.

    Artistic impression of detecting axions from supernova explosions with the Fermi satellite. Credit: Maedeh Mohammadpour mir.

    Axion dark mater search

    The nature of dark matter, the substance that accounts for more than 85% of all matter in the Universe, remains a mystery. Many theories predict that dark matter is made up from yet – undiscovered fundamental particles. A plethora of ground-based and space born experiments are looking for traces of these particles. Together with Dr. Manuel Meyer , we use explosions of stars outside of our Milky Way to search for a particular class of dark matter particles. Read here our press release or our paper published in Physical Review Letters.


    I am a member of the following international collaborations:

  • 2021 - present - ePESSTO+: advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects (active in the Tidal Disruption Events group)
  • 2021 - present - LensWatch collaboration aimed at searching for lensed supernovae with targeted surveys of known strong-lensing systems.
  • 2019 - present - Junior member of the IAU (International Astronomical Union)
  • 2018 - present - Vera Rubin Observatory - active in the Dark Energy Science Collaboration.
  • 2013 - 2017 - Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory. My responsibilities included searching for candidates as probable supernovae in the data, triggering telescopes from an international network, processing spectroscopic data in order to classify the candidates.
  • LSST@Europe5 conference, September 2023, organized by our group, University of Rijeka, University of Belgrade and Rudjer Boskovic Istitute. Read more here.


    Current teaching

    Currently, I am teaching two courses at the Bachelor level of the School of Science, University of Nova Gorica: Stellar Astrophysics and Astrophysics Lab. All the information regarding the courses can be found on the MiTeam platform.

    Through the GoChile project, the students in BSc and MSc in Physics and Astrophysics are able to gain practical experience with astronomical observations and develop research skills with a remote-controlled telescope in an excellent location under the dark skies of Chile. Here we see one the images they produced with GoChile, of the Eta Carinae Nebula.

    Previous teaching

    School of Science, University of Nova Gorica
  • 2017/18 - 2018/19 Teaching assistant, 2nd year bachelor course Galaxies and Cosmology.
  • 2018/19 Teaching assistant, 2nd year bachelor course Astronomical observations.
  • Petnica Science Center, Serbia
  • 2019 - Invited lecturer at the Summer School on Astrophysics for undergraduate and early graduate students.
  • Physics Department, Stockholm, Sweden
    Teaching assistant November, 2011 - 2016
  • 2nd year bachelor course Programming for Physicists.
  • 2nd year bachelor course Mechanics.
  • Outreach events

    School of Science, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia

    I am the coordinator for promotional activities of the School of Science, University of Nova Gorica. Here are some of the events for the public that we have organized, more can be found here.

    GoChile summer school, Ajdovščina, 2022.
    • 2024 May 22 - FN students have a stand with experiments at Parade of knowledge, from 15:00 on, on Lavričev trg in Ajdovščina.
    • 2024 February 16-17 - UNG Info days, full program here.
    • 2024 February 2nd - Ilirska Bistrica - Astronomical evening with a lecture, experiments, quiz and telescope observations.
    • 2023 August 13-19 - 2nd Gochile summer school summer school.
    • 2023 May 24th - As part of the Parade of knowledge ( Tednih vseživljenjskega učenja) our students made an amusing resonance plate and showed it at the stand during the fair in the square of Ajdovščina.
    • 2023 May 29th - We hosted the pupils from the primary schools OŠ Šturje and OŠ Col, they had the chance to do an interactive experiment in our Materials Science lab and visit the labs. They also listened to a lecture by prof. Andreja Gomboc.
    • 2023 May 15 - We hosted the high school students from Veno Pilon, they had the chance to listed to a lecture by prof. Andreja Gomboc and visit our research labs.
    • 2023 February 16-18 - Open days at the School of Science, University of Nova Gorica. More here and and here.
    • 2023 January 26- We hosted 45 high school students from Slovenska Bistrica, they had the chance to hear a presentation about our faculty and the research we are doing.
    • 2022 November 7th, a public outreach event in the Amphitheater of the School of Science in Ajdovščina. The event consisted of a public lecture, followed by telescope observations of the Moon, Jupyter, and Saturn. The event was organized in collaboration with the Astronomical society Nanos, the Veno Pilon high-school, and local primary schools.
    • 2022 October 7th, during the activities of the University Week 2022, we held a stargazing party in the public library in Nova Gorica. More here.
    • 2022 - First summer school in astronomy with the Slovenian GoChile telescope More here.
    • 2022 - Taborniki zlet. We have been invited to participate at the largest scout event in Slovenia, there were 700 high school students and 300 volunteers. The first day, in the afternoon, we had a presentation of the FN study programs, and some of the research we do at the Center of Astrophysics and Cosmology. Then in the evening, we did telescope observations of the moon, Andromeda galaxy, Messier objects etc. After the Moon set, We also explored the constellations and took photographs of the Milky way. The second day, the weather was not good, but we had we a quiz with prizes, and we managed to do some moon observations with Andrej Guštin.
    • Observations of the Moon, near Cerkno, 2022, during the largest (700 students) scout event in Slovenia
    • 2022 - We hosted students of the secondary school from Gorizia, Italy for their internship, read more here
    • 2022 - Organizing the Open Days for the School of Science (11-13.02.2022, 17.05.2022, 17.09.2022 ...) - During these days when Slovenian universities open their door for high schools students, we were able to do presentations and visits to the labs in person! Furthermore, the all the vents were in hybrid mode, which means that the visitors had chance to attend the events online as well.
    • 2021 European Researchers’ Night
    • 2019, as part of the University week, an astronomical evening with various fun experiments, telescope observations and a lecture.
    • Whales with the Whale (Cetus) constellation. I like painting space art, it is relaxing.
    • 2019 European Researchers' Night (Science Espresso, fun experiments, telescope observations and a lecture).
    • 2019 - From Solar eclipse to black holes: Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Solar eclipse which confirmed Einstein's theory of relativity. (a lecture and telescope observations).
    • 2019 Celebration of Woman day in Astronomy (lecture, quizzes and sky observations).
    • Artistic impression of a strongly lensed supernova. Credit: Maede Mohammadpour mir.
    • 2018 Within University Week of the UNG (a lecture, three interactive workshops and telescope observations.
    • 2018 Einstein Day (Lecture about Einstein contribution to physics and interactive workshop)

    Physics department, Stockholm University, Sweden

        Fysikshow, Dalarna, Sweden, 2012.
      • During my time at Stockholm Unviersity, I have been involved in the outreach project Fysikshow which aims to bring closer physics to young students by performing experiments. You can read more about our activities from 2016, 2015, 2014.
        Summer school in Stockholm, 2016.
      • In 2016, together with Semeli Papadogianakis, we have organized a summer research school for talented high-school students. Short description about that is here.
      • In the project Inner & Outer Cosmos, Our Universe expands, a collaboration between researchers and artists (for ex. I collaborated with the artist Dalibor Trencevski) resulted in this exhibition in the Edviks Konsthall.
      • As part of several outreach events, we created a Cosmic cocktail.
      • My image of the galaxy M82, was selected and displayed at the ArteScienza exhibition.

    Press coverage

    I am active in dissemination of astrophysics and my research, in many forms, including press releases. I have written articles for magazines, blogs and been interviewed for newspapers, TV, radio and podcasts in Slovenia and abroad.



    Sem astrofizičarka in docentka na Centru za astrofiziko in kozmologijo, Univerze v Novi Gorici.
    Moji raziskovalni interesi so predvsem na področju opazovalne astrofizike in kozmologije, še posebej se osredotočajo na t.i. časovno spremenljivo astronomijo, pri kateri gre za preučevanje izvorov, ki s časom hitro spreminjajo sij. Moje raziskave do sedaj so pokazale, da je možno odkrivati močno lečene supernove s teleskopi na površju Zemlje. V sklopu raziskav smo odkrili pet najbolj oddaljenih supernov, pri katerih je eksplozijo povzročil kolaps sredice zvezde, hkrati pa smo preučili prostorninsko pogostost takšnih supernov pri velikih rdečih premikih. S preučevanjem lastnosti močno lečene in zelo oddaljene supernove smo pokazali, da so lahko ti izvori zelo koristni pri kozmoloških raziskavah. Kot članica kolaboracije intermediate Palomar Transient Factory sem prispevala k odkritju novih supernov in k njihovemu preučevanju, vključno s prvo razločljivo in večkrat lečeno supernovo tipa Ia in prvo supernovo, po eksploziji katere je nastala dvojna nevtronska zvezda. Trenutno se ukvarjam še s plimskimi raztrganji zvezd in iskanjem kratkih izbruhov sevanja gama nastalih pri supernovah, ki jih povzročijo aksionom podobni delci. Aksionom podobni delci so obetavni kandidati za sestavne delce temne snovi.


    Celotna bibliografija na NASA Astrophysics Data System in na SICRIS-u.

    ARRS projekti

  • BI-VB/23-25-005 - Raziskave v fiziki zvezd in kozmologiji z uporabo supernov in močnega gravitacijskega lečenja, z dr. Suhailom Dhawanom na Inštitutu za astronomijo Univerze v Cambridgeu.
  • BI-US/22-24-006 - Razkrivanje širjenja vesolja z močno lečenimi supernovami z vesoljskim teleskopom Roman Space Telescope - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl)
  • Z1-1853 (1.12.2019 - 30.6.2022) Razkrivanje širjenja vesolja z močno lečenimi supernovami
  • BI-US/18-20-017 - Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, USA (Proučevanje lastnosti temne snovi z novim pristopom: Iskanje kratkih izbruhov sevanja gama nastalih pri eksploziji supernove, ki so jo sprožili aksionom podobni delci)


    Fakulteta za naravoslovje, Univerza v Novi Gorici
  • od 2018/19 Nosilka predmeta Astrofizika zvezd za 2. letnik dodiplomskega študija, smer Fizika in astrofizika
  • od 2021/22 Nosilka predmeta, Astrofizikalni laboratorij za 3. letnik dodiplomskega študija, smer Fizika in astrofizika

  • Dogodki za splošno publiko (več)

  • 2024 16. in 17.2 Info dnevi - Več in več.
  • 2024 02.02 Astronomski večer, Ilirska Bistrica. Poljudno astronomsko predavanje,astronomski kviz, fizikalni eksperimenti in teleskopska opazovanja
  • 2023 - 13. do 19. avgusta Druga poletna šola astronomije GoChile , blizu Slovenj Gradca (preberi več in STA članek.)
  • 2023 16-17.02 Info dnevi - Več in več.
  • 2022, 7. novembra, dogodek za splošno publiko v Amfiteatru Fakultete za naravoslovje v Ajdovščini. Dogodek bo sestavljen iz javnega predavanja Veronike Vodeb z naslovom "Po poti odkrivanja temne snovi", ki mu bo sledilo opazovanje Lune, Jupitra in Saturna s teleskopi. Dogodek organiziramo v sodelovanju z Astronomskim društvom Nanos, srednjo šolo Veno Pilon in lokalnimi osnovnimi šolami.
  • 2022 V času aktivnosti Tedna Univerze 2022, v Goriški knjižnici Franceta Bevka potekalo predavanje z naslovom "Po poti odkrivanja temne snovi". Po predavanju sledi pogostitev in opazovanje zvezd. Preberi več.
  • 2022 - Prva poletna šola astronomije GoChile več
  • 2022 - CAC je bil povabljen k sodelovanju na največjem taborniškem dogodku v Sloveniji (Taborniški ZLET 2022), kjer je bilo 700 dijakov in 300 prostovoljcev. Izvajali smo opazovanja s teleskopom, predavanja in astronomski kviz, pod temnim nebom gore pri Cerknem.
  • 2022 - Gostili smo dijakinje in dijake Slovenskega licejskega pola iz Gorice, preberi več
  • 2022 Info dnevi (11-13.02.2022, 17.05.2022, 17.09.2022 ...) več
  • 2021 - Evropska noč raziskovalcev. Iz Centra za astrofiziko in kozmologijo bo dr. Saptashwa Bhattacharyya spregovoril o gASTRONOMSKI izkušnji – Energični zajtrk na Nizu teleskopov Čerenkov (letošnja tema so Virtualni znanstveni prigrizki). Celoten program preverite tukaj!
  • 2019 - Od Sončevega mrka do posnetka črne luknje: 29. maja mineva 100 let od Sončevega mrka, s katerim je bila potrjena Einsteinova teorija relativnosti. Ob tej priložnosti vas sodelavci univerzitetnega centra v Ajdovščini vabimo, da nas obiščete in prisluhnete poljudnemu predavanju, kjer se bomo posvetili predvsem pomembnosti Sončevega mrka leta 1919 in še nekaterim nedavnim dosežkom na področju astronomije, vključno s prvim posnetkom črne luknje v galaksiji M87. Po predavanju sledi še zabaven astronomski kviz, pred predavanjem pa v primeru jasnega vremena opazovanje Sonca s teleskopom. Vabljeni, da se nam pridružite 29. 5. ob 15:00 na Univerzitetnem centru Ajdovščina, Vipavska cesta 11c, Ajdovščina.
  • 2019 - Ob Mednarodnem dnevu žensk in deklet v astronomiji astrofizičarke z Univerze v Novi Gorici vabijo k obisku dogodka “Ženske v astronomiji”. Dogodek bo sestavljen iz kratkega predavanja, interaktivnih delavnic in astronomskih opazovanj (v primeru jasnega vremena).
  • 2019 Teden Univerze, “Astronomski večer”: Astronomski večer bomo pričeli s poljudnim astronomskim predavanjem o aktualni temi na področju astronomskih in astrofizikalnih raziskav. Predavanju bodo sledili krajši, a zabaven astronomski kviz, interaktivne delavnice in eksperimenti, v primeru jasnega vremena pa tudi opazovanja s teleskopom.

  • 2018 Teden Univerze, “Od Ajdovščine do vesolja”: 18. 10. 2018 je skupina Centra za astrofiziko in kozmologijo pripravili predavanje, interaktivne delavnice in astronomska opazovanja v sklopu Tedna Univerze v Novi Gorici.
  • 2018 “Einsteinov dan”: 14. 3. 2018, predavanje o Einsteinu in njegovih pomembnih prispevkih k fiziki ter interaktivne delavnice na univerzitetnem centru v Ajdovščini.

  • V medijih

  • 2023 - STA - "Na konferenci bodo predstavili zaključne faze gradnje Observatorija Vere Rubin"
  • 2023 - RTV SLO Odmevi - "Astronomi odkrili največjo kozmično eksplozijo ".
  • 2023 - STA Znanost - "Astronomi odkrili največjo doslej videno kozmično eksplozijo".
  • 2021 - V oddaji Ugriznimo znanost na RTV, sem razpravljala o tem, kako astronomi merijo razdalje v vesolju. Epizoda je tukaj.
  • 2018 RTV SLO 1: Odmevi Slovenska raziskovalka opazovala nenavadno supernovo
  • 2018 - Delo: Iskanje temne snovi z eksplozijami supernov
  • Contact

    Email me: Email