Staff Scientists


Matthias Gohlke

During my PhD in the group of Roderich Moessner at MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden/Germany I studied lattice systems with competing interactions. In particular, I learned to apply tensor network techniques to two-dimensional spin systems like Kitaev's Honeycomb model. More generally, my research interests include novel phases of matter exhibiting fractionalization, topological states, anyons, emergent gauge fields, etc.., but also computational techniques like tensor networks. I'm looking forward to spend my free time on exploring Okinawa and Japan.

Tokuro Shimokawa

After I got my PhD at the University of Hyogo, I worked as a postdoc at the Kobe (2012-2013) and Osaka (2013-2017) Universities, Japan. I've been interested in the novel magnetic states observed in frustrated spin systems, especially now, I'm studying on spin liquid and multiple-q states by means of some numerical techniques. I'm really happy to be able to study physics with many wonderful, respectable researchers. In my spare time, not only physics, I will enjoy playing tennis, diving and drinking with my friends, coworkers and family in this beautiful island.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Geet Rakala

During the course of my PhD with Prof. Kedar Damle at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, I studied 2-dimensional lattice models of frustrated magnets using Monte-Carlo techniques. I recently got interested in water and at OIST, I am looking at deploying the numerical skills that I developed during my PhD to study the hydrogen bond network of water.  Apart from work, I have a strong interest in mastering various Unix tools like bash and vim. On the physical side of things, I like to keep it light by playing amateur table tennis once a month on average. In Okinawa, I hope to explore the culture and cuisine of this stunning island and learn a little Japanese while I am at it.

Jonas Sonnenschein

Coming form the buzzing town of Berlin (Germany) I am really excited to explore nature at its best on the beautiful island of Okinawa. As part of my human nature I love eating savory food. Since the delight of a delicious meal becomes even greater after a long walk I enjoy hiking. Besides that, I have been training martial arts. In fact, I like every kind of physical activity to counter balance my static daily routine as a theoretical physicist. Research-wise, I achieved my PhD. in the group of Johannes Reuther (FU Berlin) where I studied and classified quantum spin liquids using a parton formulation and projective symmetry groups. At the moment, my main interests are analytical approaches to condensed matter systems and, in particular, frustrated magnetism.

PhD Students

Jiahui Bao

I got my Master's degree at Sun Yat-sen University in China, where I worked on several projects of theoretical physics including gravitational waves and holography. Currently I am attracted by ideas like fracton, quantum spin liquid in condensed matter theory, so I am glad to join TQM unit as a rotation student. Apart from physics, I also enjoy rock music, video games and searching for delicious food in this island.

Leilee Chojnacki

I obtained my Master’s degree through the PSI programme at Perimeter Institute where I was exposed to a fascinating array of topics in Theoretical Physics, and I became primarily interested in condensed matter physics and quantum information. Afterwards, I came to study at OIST as a PhD student where I continue to be fascinated by unusual states of matter and how exotic phenomena can arise from the collective behaviour of many parts following simpler laws. Beyond physics, I love outdoor adventures on land and at sea, training martial arts and sharing what I know, especially outdoors. 

Soshi Mizutani

After finishing my MS thesis on cuprate superconductors in the supervision of Catherine Kallin at McMaster/KITP, I came back to Japan, after 5 years in freezing cold North America, to start my PhD program here on this beautiful tropical island. I am interested in physics of strongly correlated systems in general. In my spare time, I participate in various OIST sports clubs including soccer, basketball, badminton etc to let my steam off, and I also enjoy playing piano and sanshin to unwind.

Kimberly Remund

As past of my Master’s degree, which I did at EPFL in Switzerland, I had the opportunity to accomplish my Master’s project here at OIST. After what I decided to join the OIST PhD program and the TQM unit.
Beside physics and science, I like dancing, cycling along the hilly, winding roads of Okinawa and enjoying the pleasant weather as well as the tasty food of the Islands. I am also interested in Martial Arts and in discovering more about the history and culture of Okinawa.

Snigdh Sabharwal

I hail from Delhi, India where I started my venture into Physics. Thereafter, I got quite interested in understanding the Quantum world and went on to wrap my head around this area in my master's at Leiden University. I am still trying to do so!  Another portion of my masters (which I later continued as a research assistant) was related to connections between topologically non-trivial solutions of electromagnetism, and general relativity. A better pitch would be that there exist knotted electromagnetic fields as solutions of Maxwell's equations and there are knots of spacetime (yes!), and the fun part is that they are related. At present, I am attracted by notions of geometry and topology within condensed matter physics and information theory. Now I am working in my third rotation to learn more about quantum spin liquids and quantum information geometry. Occasionally, I dabble with music production and going for long walks. 


Ananya Samanta

I received my master's degree in Physics from IISER Bhopal, India. Afterwards, I got a chance to do PhD in TQM unit at OIST. My primary interest lies on Quantum Mechanics, Condensed Matter Physics, Statistical Physics and Numerical Methods. To be specific, I am excited about understanding how frustration can give rise to novel and rich phenomena like spin liquids. So, it is a great opportunity to be a part of TQM unit and being able to learn physics of unconventional matters in "Frustrated Magnetism". Apart from pursuing physics, I love sports, dancing, cooking and spending time with family and close ones.

Research Intern

Ziwei Wang

I received my bachelor and master degrees in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and my research experiences leaned heavily towards disordered systems, including many-body localisation and Anderson localisation. Currently, I am happy to learn about interesting topics in many-body quantum systems in general. After OIST, I am expected to enroll in Oxford to pursue a DPhil (i.e. PhD) in theoretical physics. 
Outside work, I love anime, music and history.

Research Unit Administrator

Megumi Ikeda

My duties are to assist unit members with any non-science problems so that they can excel with their academic work. My favorite part of my job is interacting with people and peeking at unit members while they struggle with overwhelming science!!
Outside of work, I enjoy biking, reading and sleeping on the beach.