Dr. Christiaan Boersma is currently employed through the San José State University Research Foundation in support of a collaboration between the Physics and Astronomy Department at San José State University and the Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory Group at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Dr. Boersma received his PhD in Astronomy (thesis) in 2009, supervised by Prof. Dr. A.G.G.M. Tielens and Prof. Dr. L.B.F.M. Waters, at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. In 2005 he had obtained his Master's degree in Astronomy at the same university. In 2009 he was awarded a fellowship with the Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory Group through an appointment with the prestigious NASA Postdoctoral Program. After concluding this fellowship in 2012, he moved to the San José State University Research Foundation position he currently holds.
Dr. Boersma's research focuses on the role of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a multitude of astronomical environments, with special interest for intermediate-mass star-forming regions. He conducts his research through analyzing and interpreting astronomical data obtained by today's state-of-the-art ground, air and space based observatories, e.g., VISIR, SOFIA and Herschel, using a combination of laboratory and synthesized spectroscopic data. This research subsequently provides insight into the prevailing physical conditions in these environments and allows for a better understanding of the governing astrophysical processes, which can then be tied in with evolutionary scenarios. The NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database (PAHdb) plays an important part in his research. Dr. Boersma had a leading role in the assembly and construction of PAHdb and its associated tools. PAHdb now guides the development of new methodologies in analyzing astronomical data, which are particularly relevant to data returned by future astronomical observatories, like the JWST.
Christiaan likes to spend his spare time with his wife, two daughters and son.
Christiaan's major publications can be found on the Astrochemistry Laboratory's Publications Pages.