I began my physics training in Germany at the Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus. In 1998 I began graduate study at Yale University, USA where I received my PhD in theoretical physics in 2004 on the topic of chaotic dielectric resonators. Following a short stay in Japan, I established myself as an experimental physicist and later group leader at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany. In September 2015 I joined the Department of Physics at the University of Otago and have reestablished my laboratory there.
My research is centered on the interaction of light and matter in dielectric materials and in particular in resonantly enhanced interactions. Currently I am active in the field of nonlinear optics where I am particularly interested in optical frequency conversion. To achieve the required high field strengths I work with ultra high quality optical resonators, which I fabricate out of crystalline materials. My current focus is on enabling the nonlinear interaction of widely spaced frequency bands that usually do not interact, such as the microwave and the visible domain of the electromagnetic radiation.