"Throwing pebbles into the water, look at the ripples they form on the surface. Otherwise this activity will be an empty amusement."
-Kozma Prutkov

About me

I have been very lucky to meet a number of extraordinary people. The best way to explain who I am is to write about them.

Being a 14-year old student of 239 high school in Saint-Petersburg, Russia I met Lev Aleksandrovich Panaiotov who transferred my childhood dream to become an astronomer into the real life goal. He has put a lot of confidence in me and gave me many pieces of advice which I'm still using in work and life. Then I met Sergei Nikolaevich Sashov who has shown me the beauty of many physical phenomena. His remarkable curiosity and wish to understand everything in the Universe have become a lifelong example for me.

My luck continued when I joint the Astronomy Institute in the Mathematic and Mechanics Faculty of Saint-Petersburg State University and became a student of Vsevolod Vladimirovich Ivanov. Vsevolod Vladimirovich formed my scientific interests and preferences. He also taught me to be never afraid of complicated problems and tasks.

After graduating from Saint-Petersburg State University I became a PhD-student in the Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zurich ETH Zurich where I had the privilege to work on my thesis "Molecular Processes and Turbulent Magnetic Fields in the Solar Atmosphere" with the world-renowned experts Svetlana Berdyugina, Dominique Fluri, and Jan Stenflo.

After the promotion I joined the Physikalisch Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos as a postdoc and worked under the guidance of Werner Schmutz, who was always around to help me with a good advice but at the same time gave me a lot of freedom and independence. He also saved my marriage by not allowing me to go alone to Rio de Janeiro.

My "adult" life started when I joined the Minerva Group at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research as a Marie-Curie fellow and started to work with Natalie Krivova and Sami Solanki. They managed to create a fantastic working environment around them and I'm still feeling fascinated by the number of exciting opportunities at the Institute and the ideas that are flying around. Also the food in the cantine has been gradually improving.

The ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council allowed me to set up my own Research Group. I had to use a number of tricks and buzzwords (e.g. describing a fortran 66 code as a "state-of-the-art") to attract a number of talented and motivated people. They challenge me every day with nice ideas and tricky questions. From time to time some of them also bring chocolade.

Research Interests

  • Solar and stellar variability
  • Modelling of the solar and stellar spectra
  • Numerical and analytical radiative transfer
  • Solar and stellar magnetic fields
  • Radiative transfer of the polarised light
  • Stellar evolution
  • Sun-Earth connections
  • Five Recent Publications

  • Egorova, T.; Schmutz, W.; Rozanov, E.; Shapiro, A. I.; Usoskin, I.; Beer, J.; Tagirov, R. V.; Peter, T., (2018), Revised historical solar irradiance forcing, Astronomy & Astrophysics, in press. ADS link
  • Christoffer Karoff, Travis S. Metcalfe, Ângela R. G. Santos, Benjamin T. Montet, Howard Isaacson, Veronika Witzke, Alexander I. Shapiro, Savita Mathur, Guy R. Davies, Mikkel N. Lund, Rafael A. Garcia, Allan S. Brun, David Salabert, Pedro P. Avelino, Jennifer van Saders, Ricky Egeland, Margarida S. Cunha, Tiago L. Campante, William J. Chaplin, Natalie Krivova, Sami K. Solanki, Maximilian Stritzinger, and Mads F. Knudsen. (2018) The Influence of Metallicity on Stellar Differential Rotation and Magnetic Activity The Astrophysical Journal, 852:46 (12pp) ADS link
  • Dudok de Wit, T., Kopp, G., Shapiro, A. I., Witzke, V., Kretzschmar, M. (2018) Response of Solar Irradiance to Sunspot-area Variations The Astrophysical Journal, 853:197 (10pp) ADS link
  • Jungclaus, Johann H.;, ..., Shapiro, A.I., et al. (2017), The PMIP4 contribution to CMIP6 - Part 3: The last millennium, scientific objective, and experimental design for the PMIP4 past1000 simulations, Geoscientific Model Development, 10, 11, 4005 ADS link
  • Shapiro, A. I.; Solanki, S. K.; Krivova, N. A.; Cameron, R. H.; Yeo, K. L.; Schmutz, W. K. (2017), The nature of solar brightness variations, Nature Astronomy, 1, 612S Springer Nature Sharing link
  • Talks in 2018

  • "Transferring knowledge from solar to stellar observations", September 2018, International workshop Observing the Sun as a Star, Göttingen, Germany (invitation accepted)
  • ”Long-term variations of solar irradiance”, July 2018, 14th Quadrennial Solar-Terrestrial Physics (STP) symposium, Toronto, Canada (invitation accepted)
  • “Comparing Solar and Stellar Variability”, March 2018, Sun-Climate Symposium, Lake Arrowhead, USA (invited)
  • “Brightness variations of solar-type stars: available datasets and recent achievements”, February 2018, IAU Symposium 340 “Long-term datasets for the understanding of solar and stellar magnetic cycles”, Jaipur, India (invited)
  • Press-release paper

    Max-Planck Scientists explain why the Sun's brightness vary. (Picture is © NASA/SDO)