Teaching: Lectures

Lectures Mentoring

I am dedicated to educate new generation of curious and motivated scientists. Several lecture courses have been offered at different Universities and graduate schools:

Theoretical Astrophysics: Sun, Stars and Planets

This is an advance course on physics of stars (ncluding the Sun) and planets. It starts from reviewing the theory of radiative transfer, including polarized radiation due to scattering and magnetic fields. Then, we will learn about solar and stellar magneic activity, followed by stellar evolution. Finally we will study physics of planets, including their formation, evolution, atmospheres, and habitability. The course is given in English. Prerequisite: Introduction to Astronomy. 42h+26h, University of Freiburg, Germany (from 2009)


Astrobiology is the science that addresses the questions on the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the Universe. Organic matter is a fundamental constituent of living systems and represents the substance from which life has been generated on the early Earth. The distribution of organic matter in the Universe has a direct influence on where life could originate. In this lecture course we will examine the major environments in which organic matter is created, including debris of the interstellar medium, organic-rich circumstellar envelopes, solar nebula, and the prebiotic Earth. We will study the main energy sources for the life and learn how to find life on exoplanets. The course is given in English. 42h+26h, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2006-2008), University of Hawaii, USA (2013), University of Freiburg, Germany (from 2008).

Stellar Astrophysics

The course reviews the stellar population of our galaxy and concentrates on the physical processes at work in stellar interiors. We discuss basics of the stellar evolution, variable stars, binaries, stellar oscillations and compact objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. In the exercise classes we examine the physical processes at work in stars, and aim at a deeper understanding of the topics discussed in the lectures. 26h+13h, University of Freiburg, Germany (2009), ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2003-2005).

Molecular Universe

Molecules are found in a large variety of astronomical objects, ranging from comets in the Solar system to galaxies at high redshifts. They are a major component of the interstellar medium and constitute giant molecular clouds. They are detected in the atmospheres of the Sun, red dwarfs and giants, brown dwarfs and giant planets and allow for studying their physical properties, including temperature, chemical compositions and magnetic fields. In this lecture course we will discuss the synthesis of chemical elements and molecules in the universe. We will introduce basics of molecular quantum mechanics and spectroscopy and learn about detection and identification methods in optical and radio astronomy. Then, we will learn about molecular composition of galaxies, interstellar medium, protostars and protoplanets, Sun and stars, circumstellar envelopes, comets and planetary atmospheres in the Solar system and beyond. Finally, we will discuss problems of the origin of life and astrobiology. The course is given in English. 26h+11h, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2005-2008).

Discover your planet

At this practical course students learn how to detect extrasolar planets with different techniques. They work with real and simulated data and "discover" their own planets. After this course, students are ready to carry out data analysis as real planet-hunters. 12h, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2003-2007).

Astrophysical Spectroscopy and Spectropolarimetry

This course provides an overview of selected chapters of theoretical physics and spectroscopy and connects this knowledge with the problems in astrophysics. Chapters include quantume mechanics of atoms and molecules, electromagnetic theory of light, magnetic fields, radiative transfer, polarization and instrumentation. 14h+7h, University of Oulu (2001).

The Universe in numbers

This is a problem solving course covering all chapters of astrophysics, from planets to stars, galaxies and cosmology. The selected problems are both fun and challenging. They help to deeper understand the processes in astrophysical objects and media. 28h, University of Oulu, Finland (1999-2000).

Lectures at graduate schools

2018: Summer school "Astrophysical Polarimetry", Asiago, Italy
2017: Winter school "From Molecules to Life", Zurich, Switzerland
2015: Summer school "Light!", Freiburg, Germany
2014: Winter school on astrobiology, Hilo, USA
2011: Summer School on Solar and Stellar polarization, Yubin, China
2005: Nordic summer school, Tomography of stellar oscillations, Vilnius, Lithuania
1996: Summer School for undergraduate students of the Southampton University (UK), Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Ukraine