Dr. Jean-Luc Lehners

Leader of the ERC Research Group in "Theoretical Cosmology"


Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik

Am Mühlenberg 1
D-14476 Potsdam


Phone: +49 331 567-7316

E-mail: jlehners@aei.mpg.de

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Data


Current Position

2010-nowMax Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
(Albert Einstein Institute)
Leader of the ERC Research Group in "Theoretical Cosmology"

Positions Held

2010Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Postdoctoral Fellow
2007-2010Princeton University - Princeton Center for Theoretical Science
Postdoctoral Fellow
2005-2007University of Cambridge – DAMTP
Research Associate


2001-2005Imperial College London - PhD Physics
Advisor: Professor K.S. Stelle
Thesis entitled “Braneworlds from Supergravity”
2000-2001University of Cambridge - Part III Mathematics
Grade: Distinction
1997-2000Imperial College London - BSc Physics with Theoretical Physics
Grade: First Class Honours
1990-1997Lycée Michel Rodange, Luxembourg
Grade: Très bien


Fluent in English, French, German, Luxembourgish

Third-Party Funds


ERC Consolidator Grant
Project title: Quantum Effects in Early Universe Cosmology (CoG 772295)
Value: 1.24 million €
Project dates: 01.09.2018 – 31.08.2023

ERC Starting Grant
Project title: String Cosmology and Observational Signatures (StG 256994)
Value: 1.14 million €
Project dates: 01.12.2010 – 30.11.2015


Awards and Scholarships


Grant of the Max Planck Society
Awarded for an extension of the Theoretical Cosmology group
Value: 565,000 €

Grant of the Max Planck Society
Awarded for an extension of the Theoretical Cosmology group
Value: 460,000 €
2010Prix Lions
Prize awarded yearly by the Lions Club Luxembourg for cultural or scientific merits
2009Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition – Honorable Mention
Essay The Return of the Phoenix Universe, with P. Steinhardt and N. Turok
2002-2005Bourse Formation Recherche
Awarded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research
2002Valerie Myerscough Prize, University of London




PPARC Scholarship

King's College Scholarship,
King's College Cambridge

Chevening Scholarship, British Council

2000Governor’s BSc Prize in Physics, best final year Physics student, Imperial College
1999Staff Prize, best second year Physics student, Imperial College
1999Stanley Raimes Memorial Prize
Awarded for outstanding performance in Mathematics at Imperial College
1998Matthews Memorial Prize, best first year Physics student, Imperial College

Supervision of Graduate Students

2019-Caroline Jonas
2017-2021Alice Di Tucci
2015-2019Sebastian Bramberger
2013-2019Enno Mallwitz
2013-2015Anna Ijjas
2012-2016Angelika Fertig

Supervision of Postdocs

2021-2022Sergio Hörtner
2020-2021Marc Schneider
2019-2021Jérôme Quintin
2019Ana Alonso Serrano
2018-2020Sayantan Choudhury
2015-2019Shane Farnsworth
2012-2015Rhiannon Gwyn
2012-2014Lorenzo Battarra
2011-2014Michael Koehn



Quantum cosmology lectures, IMPRS programme, Mallorca, Spain

2016Cosmology lecture course, Humboldt Universität, Berlin
2014Lecturer, Autumn Blockkurs 2014, Graduiertenkolleg "Masse, Spektrum, Symmetrie", Humboldt Universität, Berlin
2014Lecturer at the Advanced String School 2014, organized by the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, India
2014Lecturer at the University of Sussex School "From Classical to Quantum GR", Brighton, UK
2012Lectures on "Cosmology" at the Jürgen Ehlers Spring School for 3rd year undergraduates, Albert Einstein Institute, Germany
2011IMPRS Lectures on "Early Universe Cosmology" for graduate students, Albert Einstein Institute, Germany
2009Lecturer at the "Summer School on Particle Physics, Cosmology and Strings" at Perimeter Institute, Canada
2004-2005Example classes for the Unification course at Imperial College London
2002-2004Example classes for the General Relativity course at Imperial College London

Organization of Scientific Meetings

2023Probing the Quantum Origin of Spacetime, Royal Society Theo Murphy meeting, Northampton, January 23rd- 24th
2017Connections between Cosmology, Strong Gravity and Quantum Theory, Ringberg castle, February 15th- 18th
2016Emergent Space-time in Quantum Gravity and Fundamental Cosmology, Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), September 26th – 29th
2014DESY Theory Workshop, September 23rd – 26th
2014Quantum Gravity and Fundamental Cosmology II, AEI, March 3rd- 6th
2013Quantum Gravity and Fundamental Cosmology, AEI, March 5th- 8th
2011Challenges for Inflationary Cosmology, Perimeter Institute, July 11th- 15th
2008-2009Big Bang and Beyond (year-long program), Princeton Center for Theoretical Science

Institutional Responsibilities

2022-AEI Colloquium organizer
2019-2022Ombudsperson for the Albert Einstein Institute
2015-2019AEI Colloquium organizer
2005-2007Organizer of the weekly Cambridge Cosmology Lunches

Commissions of Trust

2019Swiss National Science Foundation, member of the panel for COST projects
2016Member of the Jury at the Falling Walls Lab, Berlin, November 8th
2012-2014Member of the works council, Albert Einstein Institute
2011-Member of the Advisory Board, Max Planck Partner Group on Cosmology and Gravity, Trivandrum, India


2018Die Erde ist mein Raumschiff
Publisher: da Vinci, Luxembourg
ISBN: 978-99959-1-130-0
Popular science book for children, distributed by the Luxembourgish Ministry of Education to all school children in 6th grade (cycle 4.2) in Luxembourg


Invited Talks (selected)

2022Heidelberg University, December 13th
2022LAPTh Annecy, France (online talk), October 19th
2022Razmadze Mathematical Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia, October 15th
2022Plenary talk, When hbar meets G, IAP, Paris, June 28th
2022McGill University, Canada (online talk), May 2nd
2022MPI for the History of Science, Berlin, March 31st
2022IITGN and IACS, Kolkata, India (online talk), February 10th
2022Bad Honnef Winterseminar, Germany, January 28th
2021Recent progress of quantum cosmology, Yukawa Institute, Japan (online talk), November 10th
2021Université de Lyon, France (online talk), June 1st
2021APC Paris, France (online talk), May 28th
2021University of Montreal, Canada (online talk), March 22nd
2021GQFI seminar, Albert Einstein Institute, Germany (online talk), February 17th
2020Van Swinderen Institute Groningen (online talk), November 12th
2020Colloquium Universidad di Santiago, Chile (online talk), November 5th
2020Colloquium University of Sheffield, UK (online talk), November 4th
2020Utrecht University, The Netherlands (online talk), May 8th
2020University of Vienna, Austria (online talk), April 23rd
2020Quantum Aspects of Spacetime and Matter (online talk), January 30th
2019CP-3 Origins, University of Southern Denmark, September 23rd
2019LPTHE, Université Sorbonne - Jussieu, Paris, September 17th
2019Autonomous University of Barcelona, April 25th
2019EPFL Lausanne, March 11th
2018Colloquium, Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover, December 13th
2018Quantum Universe conference, CECs, Valdivia, Chile, November 13th
2018Simons Summer workshop on Forefronts in Cosmology and Numerical General Relativity, Salzburg, July 7th
2018Plenary Speaker, 15th Marcel Grossmann meeting, Rome, July 2nd
2018University of Luxembourg, June 27th
2018Spring Cosmology meeting, DESY Zeuthen, May 18th
2018Colloquium, Heidelberg, May 3rd
2018Brussels, seminar, April 25th
2018University of Amsterdam, seminar, March 5th
2017Path Integral for Gravity, Perimeter Institute, November 14th
2017Columbia University, seminar, November 13th
2017Princeton University, gravity group seminar, November 10th
2017DESY Theory workshop, Hamburg, September 28th
2017Bouncing scenarios in cosmology, Perimeter Institute, June 28th
2017Bangs, Bounces, Black Holes and Bubbles, Princeton University, May 11th
2017MIT, joint Tufts/MIT seminar, March 14th
2016Keynote talk, Communicability and Cosmology, Humboldt University, July 7th
2016Cosmological Frontiers in Fundamental Physics, Perimeter Institute, June 15th
2016PCTS@10 workshop, Princeton University, May 6th
2015Selected Topics in Theoretical High Energy Physics, Tbilisi State University, Georgia, September 23rd
20151st Erlangen Workshop on Cosmology and Quantum Gravity, February 11th
2014The Primordial Universe After Planck, Paris, December 18th
2014Keynote talk, Planck 2014 conference, Ferrara, Italy, December 3rd
2014Colloquium, MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, November 17th
2014Searching for Simplicity, Princeton University, May 15th
2014The Particle Physics and Cosmology of Supersymmetry and String Theory, New York City, March 20th
2014Colloquium, Virginia Tech, February 17th
2014Cosmology after Planck, DESY, Hamburg, January 28th
2013The Particle Physics and Cosmology of Supersymmetry and String Theory, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, March 21st
2013Colloquium, DESY, Hamburg, January 30th
2012Colloquium, York University, Toronto, October 10th
2012Corfu summer institute, Workshop on String Theory, September 24th
2012New Ideas in Cosmology, University of Pennsylvania, March 17th
2011Cosmological Frontiers in Fundamental Physics, Paris, June 17th
2011AAAS meeting, Washington D.C., February 19th

Popular Science Talks and Outreach Activities (selected)

2023Bibliothèque Nationale Luxembourg, February 23rd
2022Evangelische Grundschule Potsdam, November 22nd
2022Podcast Nachgefragt! (children ask questions to scientists) July 15th
2022Kulturverein Ellwangen, May 5th
2022Rotary Club Potsdam (online talk), January 5th
2021„Knowember“ der Wissenschaft, Albert Einstein Institute (online talk), November 1st
20217 Sachen, Inselbühne Potsdam, August 24th
2021Radio interview Corax (youth radio), recorded March 23rd
2021Radio interview SWR2, March 21st
2020Haus der Astronomie (online talk), October 8th
2020Science2Go, Potsdam Science Park (online talk), May 7th
2019Keynote Speech, Ph.D. Graduation ceremony, University of Luxembourg, December 13th
2019Grundschule im Bornstedter Feld, Potsdam, November 13th
2019“LTPS goes space”, Lycée Technique pour Professions de Santé, Luxembourg, June 24th
2019Schroeder Award, Schroeder & Associés, Luxembourg, June 21st
2019Bruno-H.-Bürgel Sternwarte, Berlin, March 22nd
2018Presentation of my children’s book “Die Erde ist mein Raumschiff”, Science Center Differdange, Luxembourg, November 23rd
2018ARD alpha Campus Talks, Wissenschaft auf den Punkt gebracht, recorded May 22nd and broadcasted October 23rd
2018Inner Wheel Club Potsdam, May 8th
2018Athénée, Luxembourg, April 30th
2018Olbers-Gesellschaft Bremen, April 17th
2017Foundation for Young Scientists Luxembourg, October 5th
2017Editorial on the big bang for “Newsweek”, www.newsweek.com, June 19th
2017Grundschule im Bornstedter Feld, Potsdam, March 23rd
2016Astronomy club Vega, summer camp, St Andreasberg, August 12th
2016Montessori Primary School, Potsdam, July 4th
2015Lunchpaket, science and dance performance, with choreographer/dancer Dr. Linda Gieres, Bildungsforum Potsdam, November 11th
2015Primary school, Koerich, Luxembourg, September 28th
2014Aboagora conference “Chaos and Cosmos”, with choreographer/dancer Dr. Linda Gieres, Turku, Finland, August 14th
2014Planetarium Nürnberg, May 28th
2013MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, July 26th
201225 Years of Public Research in Luxembourg, Luxembourg, keynote speaker, November 26th
2012Luxemburg ist Groß Festival, Berlin, May 11th
2011Luxembourgish Amateur Astronomers, 40 Years Celebration, Luxembourg, December 16th
2011Falling Walls conference, Berlin, November 9th
2010SES, commercial satellite company, Princeton, board meeting, October 1st
2009International Year of Astronomy, opening lecture, Luxembourg, March 3rd
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