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Interview with Josefin Larsson

Published Sep 28, 2022

Josefin Larsson was recently promoted to Wallenberg Scholar. We interviewed Josefin and talked about the promotion, as well as her career.

Josefin Larson (Photo:Erik Thor/ Sveriges Unga Akademi)

Hello Josefin, tell us a little bit about you, where do you come from, your academic background, etc?

I grew up in Malmö in the south of Sweden. I did my undergraduate degree in physics at Lund University and then moved to Cambridge to do a PhD in astronomy. After that I came back to Sweden – I first did a postdoc at Stockholm University and then took up a position at KTH.

Why did you choose the field of astrophyiscs? What made you interested in it?

I simply found it the most interesting subject that I encountered in school.

Tell us about your recent prestigious promotion to Wallenberg Scholar, what does the role entail?

This is a promotion from the Wallenberg Academy Fellow programme. I originally became a Fellow in 2015 and my Fellowship was extended by another five years at the end of last year. The promotion to Scholar adds another 3 Mkr to this grant. I also get the opportunity to apply for an extension of the Scholar grant in 2023.

You research focuses on studying supernovae, what is your main field or work?

One of my main interests is to study the remnants of supernova explosions. By studying the remains of the disrupted star we can begin to piece together how the explosion happened and also learn about the compact object that was created from the core of the star.

I am also interested in the so-called gamma-ray bursts that accompany some supernovae. These events create “jets”, narrow outflows travelling close to the speed of light, in a process that we have yet to understand.

Is it important for you to communicate your research to the world, if yes, why, and how do you do that?

Yes, I think this is an important task for all researchers. I regularly give popular science talks and I have written a number of popular science articles.

Text: Elina Charatsidou