Oliver Müller

école Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) · Switzerland · oliver@oliver-mueller.ch

Keystone/Gaëtan Bally.

I am a Swiss astronomer...

... working on dwarf galaxies and near-field cosmology. My Alma Mater is the University of Basel, where I studied physics and astronomy under the supervision of Prof. Bruno Binggeli. I am especially interested in the search for and characterization of dwarf galaxies in nearby galaxy groups. For that purpose I use several different optical telescopes like the Dark Energy Camera, the Very Large Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope.

Experience and Education

Working experience

Ambizione Fellow

école Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
starting Sep 2022

Senior Data Analyst

Google Switzerland
Nov 2021 - Jul 2022

PostDoc as SNF Fellow

école Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Sep 2021 - Nov 2021

PostDoc as SNF Fellow

University of Strasbourg
Nov 2018 - Aug 2021

PhD in Astronomy

University of Basel
Sep 2014 - Sep 2018

Software Developer

match my color, LLC
May 2013 - Aug 2014

Scientific Assistant

University of Applied Science, Nordwestschweiz
Aug 2012 - Apr 2013


University of Basel

Master of Science in Physics
Aug 2012 - Aug 2014

University of Basel

Bachelor of Science in Physics
Aug 2008 - Aug 2012

Gymnasium Münchenstein

Aug 2004 - Dec 2007


Prix Schläfli

Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)

Amerbach Prize

University of Basel

Edith Alice Müller Award

Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy (SGAA/SSAA)


Klaus Tschira Stiftung


Klaus Tschira Stiftung

Dies Academicus with the President of the University of Basel.


WLM galaxy. Captured by ESO’s OmegaCAM on the VLT.

Why studying dwarf galaxies?

Dwarf galaxies are the most abundant and most elusive type of galaxy. And more, they are thought to be the most dark matter-dominated objects in the Universe. They are also quite distinct in size, shape and mass from other galaxies, such as elliptical or spiral galaxies. The barely visible dwarf galaxies are a major puzzle to our understanding of structure formation in the Universe, described by the cosmological dark energy + cold dark matter model. The many discrepancies for dwarf galaxies between theory and observations in small-scale cosmology have now standing names like the Too-Big-Too-Fail problem, the cusp/core problem, or the planes-of-satellites problem.

Besides science?

Apart from being a scientist, I am an avid guitar player, my interest ranges from Jazz Manouche to Metal. Additionally, I am an enthusiastic table top player and member of the Tabletop Verein Basilisk, a club dedicated to provide a friendly and lively environment for this hobby, which involves model building, painting, and of course playing.

I also like travel and see new places. Being a scientist certainly helps coming around. When I have free time, especially during my travels I photograph, with focus on landscape and street photography.

When at home, I also like to program (i.e. this and the two previous websites), read books, play games, and write on my blog.

At a seminar with the founder of Shinkendo, Kaiso Toshishiro Obata.

A roadtrip through Iceland, with uncommonly good weather.

Three week hike through Sweden's wilds on the so-called Kungsleden.

Photography. True colour, black beach in Iceland.


Selected peer-reviewed articles

My publication record can be viewed in the ADS database.

  • 2021 · Müller O., Schnider E. „Dwarfs from the Dark (Energy Survey): a machine learning approach to classify dwarf galaxies from multi-band images“, OJAp 4, 3
  • 2021 · Müller O., Pawlowski M., Lelli F., et al. „The coherent motion of Cen A dwarf satellite galaxies remains a challenge for CDM cosmology“, A&A Letters, 645, 5
  • 2018 · Kroupa P., Banik I., Haghi H., Zonoozi A.H., Dabringhausen J., Javanmardi B., Müller O., Wu X., Zhao H., „A common Milgromian acceleration scale in nature“, Nature Astronomy, 1
  • 2018 · Kroupa P., Haghi H., Javanmardi B., Zonoozi A.H., Müller O., Banik I., Wu X., Zhao H., Dabringhausen J., „Does the galaxy NGC1052–DF2 falsify Milgromian dynamics?“, Nature 561, E4-E5
  • 2018 · Müller O., Pawlowski M., Jerjen H., Lelli, F. „A whirling plane of satellite galaxies around Centaurus A challenges cold dark matter cosmology“, Science 359, 534
Cover of Science magazine

Our work on the Centaurus group was highlighted on the cover of Science.

Popular science

  • 2020 · Müller O. „Kosmisches Planktor", Spektrum der Wisenschaft
  • 2018 · Müller O. „Von astronomischen Höhen und Tiefen – hinter den Kulissen eines Science Artikels", ScienceBlogs, Schreibwettbewerb, 2. Platz
  • 2018 · Müller O. and Kroupa P. „Nicht so schnell mit MOND – Die Zwerggalaxie NGC1052-DF2 als kritischer Test für MOND und das Dunkle Materie Modell", ScienceBlogs
  • 2017 · Müller O. „Ein Universum ohne Dunkle Materie, ScienceBlogs, Schreibwettbewerb

Book contributions

  • 2018 Müller O., „A whirling plane of satellite galaxies around Centaurus A challenges cold dark matter cosmology.“ Conference proceeding to IAU Symposium 344
  • 2017 Müller O., „Glauben an das Unbekannte.“ natura obscura

Media appearances

Selected Articles

  • 2021 · Scientists Find More Evidence That Galaxies Are Synced Up In a 'Cosmic Web' · Vice
  • 2019 · Forscher entdecken eine zweite Galaxie ohne dunkle Materie – und befeuern damit eine langjährige Debatte unter Wissenschaftern · NZZ
  • 2019 · NGC 1052-DF2 – von der MUSE geküsst · ScienceBlogs
  • 2018 · Dancing Dwarf Galaxies Deepen Dark Matter Mystery · Scientific American
  • 2018 · Synchronized Galactic Orbit Challenges Our Best Theory of How the Universe Works · Gizmodo
  • 2018 · Galaxy rotations raise doubts on dark matter · Cosmos Magazine
  • 2018 · New observations of galaxies challenge the standard cosmological model · Ars Technica
  • 2018 · Die Ergebnisse sprechen gegen das Standardmodell · Welt der Physik
  • 2018 · Schweizer Forscher stellt Universum auf den Kopf · 20 Minuten
  • 2018 · Ein Doktorand greift nach den Sternen, die Uni Basel löscht das Licht · TagesWoche
  • 2015 · Basler Game-Studio landet mit erstem Spiel ersten Hit · 20 Minuten


  • 2021 · Zwerggalaxien vs. Dunkle Materie · nano
  • 2018 · The Plane of Satellite Galaxies around Centaurus A · Youtube
  • 2018 · These synchronized galaxies are upending what we know about the universe · Science Magazine
  • 2016 · couch developers · Die Macher


If you are interested in inviting me as a speaker, please write me an e-mail about the occasion. I enjoy talking in front of a crowd, be this in a school or to interested people, and of course for academics as well.