I received my PhD degree from Imperial College, Univ. of London in 2002. After this I held postdoctoral positions at Stockholm University, Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) and Queen's University Belfast. I moved back to Finland in 2007 with an Academy of Finland Research Fellowship to work at Tuorla Observatory at University of Turku. Between 2012 and 2015 I worked at the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA) as a University Researcher. I was appointed as a Professor of Astronomy at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Turku in 2015. After 2010 I have made extended research visits to Stockholm University (18 months) and to University of Cambridge, UK (10 months). I have been the Finnish delegate in the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Council since 2020 and in the International Scientific Committee (CCI) of the Roque de los Muchachos and Teide observatories since 2019. Since 2022 I have also served as the President of the CCI. I am currently also a member of the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) Council and the board of FINCA and a vice member of the board of the Univ. of Turku Faculty of Science. In 2022 I was invited as a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.
I have taught several courses in astronomy, astrophysics and signal and image processing at the Univ. of Turku. In particular, I initiated two new observational astronomy courses currently offered at national level for students from Turku, Helsinki, Oulu and the Aalto University. These courses offer hands-on experience on the use of the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) remotely from Univ. of Turku (Observational Techniques Using the Nordic Optical Telescope) and on the science exploitation of data from the European Southern Observatory (ESO; Data Processing Techniques for Astronomy with ESO Instrumentation). Currently I teach also the BSc course on observational astronomy and the MSc courses Spectroscopic Diagnostics in Astrophysics and Signal and Image Processing. In my teaching I always try to make use of examples from the latest research in order to offer a motivating learning experience for the students.
My main research interests focus on observational work on extragalactic astrophysical transients, including supernovae, tidal disruption events, and kilonovae. For more details on my research and information on the research group please see https://sites.utu.fi/sne/. For a complete list of my refereed journal papers see ADS (in chronological order) or ADS (ordered by number of citations).
Selected recent papers:
Pasham et al. (incl. Mattila) 2022, Nature Astronomy: The Birth of a Relativistic Jet Following the Disruption of a Star by a Cosmological Black Hole
Reynolds, Mattila et al. 2022, A&A: Energetic nuclear transients in luminous and ultraluminous infrared galaxies
Perez-Torres, Mattila et al. 2021, The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review: Star formation and nuclear activity in luminous infrared galaxies: An infrared through radio review
Kool, Reynolds, Mattila et al. 2020, MNRAS: AT2017gbl: a dust obscured TDE candidate in a luminous infrared galaxy
Ackley et al. (incl. Mattila) 2020, A&A: Observational constraints on the optical and near-infrared emission from the neutron star-black hole binary merger S190814bv
Reynolds, Fraser, Mattila et al. 2020, MNRAS: SN 2016gsd: An unusually luminous and linear type II supernova with high velocities
Mattila et al. 2018, Science: A dust-enshrouded tidal disruption event with a resolved radio jet in a galaxy merger
Smartt et al. (incl. Mattila) 2017, Nature: A kilonova as the electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational-wave source
Abbott et al. (imcl. Mattila) 2017, ApJ: Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger
Kankare, Kotak, Mattila et al. 2017, Nature Astronomy: A population of highly energetic transient events in the centres of active galaxies
Kangas, Blagorodnova, Mattila et al. 2017, MNRAS: Gaia 16apd - a link between fast- and slowly-declining superluminous supernovae
Kangas, Portinari, Mattila et al. 2017, A&A: Core-collapse supernova progenitor constraints using the spatial distribution of massive stars in local galaxies