Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Athens
Dr Panagiotis Niarchos is an Emeritus Professor of Observational Astrophysics at the Physics Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). He studied Mathematics at the University of Athens and received his Masters and Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Manchester, England, under the supervision of the renowned Professor Zdenek Kopal.
He has served as Vice President of the Department of Physics of the NKUA (2002-2004) and for 10 years Director of the Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics of the Physics Department, NKUA. He has also been a founder and first Director for 12 years of the Gerostathopoulion Observatory of the NKUA and Director for 15 years of the Astronomy Laboratory of the Department of Physics, NKUA. He was in charge of the establishment of the Gerostathopoulion Observatory in 1999 and its subsequent organization and operation. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Tübingen and Münster in Germany, and at Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic, and has established many collaborations with renowned astronomical centers and astronomical observatories abroad.
He has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission 42 for 6 years (2006-2012), a member of the European Network of Excellence in Asteroseismology, and he is co-author of the Special Bulletin on Bibliography of Close Binary Stars, Commission 42, of the International Astronomical Union. He is also a member of various Greek and international Scientific Societies and Associations, such as the International Astronomical Union, the Hellenic Mathematical Society, the Hellenic Astronomical Society, the National Astronomical Committee (member of the Board of Directrors), and Vice President of the Space Science Promotion Research and Support Association (SSPRSA).
His scientific interests focus on Observational Astrophysics and in particular on photometric and spectroscopic observations and theoretical studies of interacting binary stars, pulsating variable stars, as well as asteroseismology and extrasolar planets. He has made astronomical observations in well-known and large observatories abroad, such as at ESO La Silla, Chile (being the first Greek astronomer from Greece to make observations at ESO telescopes in Chile), at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain, at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in South Africa and elsewhere.
He has authored (alone or with collaborators) 9 astronomical content books, supervised many postgraduate and doctoral dissertations, organized international conferences, and published more than 300 scientific papers in international journals and conferences, and in honorary volumes. He is considered one of the most experts on extrasolar planets in Greece and has recently published a book on exoplanets and extraterrestrial life. He also runs the website https://exoplanets.gr/
Finally, it has to be said that he was the initiator of the Gerostathopoulion University Observatory events entitled “Open Nights – Astronomy for All”, which have continued
successfully since the inception of the Observatory (2000) until today.