David Berge

Gamma-ray and multi-messenger astronomy

Since 2017, David Berge is a lead scientist at DESY in the division of astroparticle physics. He heads the Gamma-ray Astronomy Group at the Zeuthen site and coordinates DESY's contributions to the planned global gamma-ray observatory CTA. His research focuses on cosmic particle accelerators and especially on multi-messenger astronomy, that is, the study of cosmic objects and events with photons, neutrinos, and gravitational waves. His group works with gamma-ray telescopes like H.E.S.S. and the future CTA, uses multi-wavelength data from other telescopes, cooperates with DESY's IceCube neutrino group and follows up on gravitational wave alerts by LIGO, VIRGO, KAGRA.

In the field of multi-messenger astronomy, much can be expected in the next few years from telescopes with large fields of view that search for light signals from gravitational wave events. One such new satellite telescope is ULTRASAT, an Israeli project tmeasure UV light. Berge and his team at DESY are building the camera for ULTRASAT, which consists of a silicon-based 100-million-pixel sensor.

In his experimental activities, Berge combines methods of particle physics with those of astroparticle physics, which reflecthis scientific career. He started with a PhD in gamma-ray astronomy at the Max-Planck institute for nuclear physics in Heidelberg. He then switched fields and worked at CERN in ATLAS for 7 years during the LHC startup phase. In 2013, he moved to Amsterdam as GRAPPA faculty member. GRAPPA is a research focus area of the University of Amsterdam at the interface of particle and astroparticle physics. In 2017Berge accepted an offer for a joint professorship for particle and astroparticle physics at the Zeuthen site of DESY and the Humboldt University of Berlin. 

Academic career

Since 2018

Full professor (W3) of particle and astroparticle physics at the Humboldt University of Berlin

Since 2017

Leading Scientist at DESY


Associate professor University of Amsterdam (GRAPPA)


Assistant professor University of Amsterdam (GRAPPA)


Staff scientist at CERN (ATLAS)


Research fellow at CERN (ATLAS)


PhD in Heidelberg at Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics


Master in physics at Humboldt-University of Berlin


Memberships and roles

  • German Physics Society, German astronomical society, European Astronomical Society, International Astronomical Union
  • Spokesperson Helmholtz-Weizmann Graduate School on Multi-Messenger Astronomy
  • Member of scientific collaborations and projects (e.g. H.E.S.S., CTA, ULTRASAT)
  • Referee for various peer-reviewed journals and research proposal programmes in European countries