Karim Essafi - Postdoctoral Scholar


I completed my PhD with Dominique Mouhanna at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in 2012. In November 2013, I joined the TQM Unit at OIST. I am interested in phase transitions and critical phenomena. During my PhD, I specialised in the study of critical phenomena using the nonperturbative renormalisation group (NPRG).  Outside of work, I enjoy playing football, climbing, diving and surfing.

Yurika Kubo - JSPS Fellow

I got my master degree at Waseda University, and will defend my PhD there. I am now working as a JSPS Fellow in OIST. My current research interests are in thermal and spin transport in frustrated magnets. In my free time, I like handicraft such as knitting, and tennis.

Christina Lee - PhD student

Though my interests started in astrophysics, I have transitioned to condensed matter theory rotating with and then finally joining the TQM group in May 2015.  As an undergrad in physics, I performed research in extrasolar planets with Dr. John Johnson (now Harvard), and in testing General Relativity for LIGO with Dr. Alan Weinstein.  An early interest in Japan and the Japanese language led me to OIST, in addition to their fascinating program and great research.  My outside interests include origami, knitting, and piano. 

Soshi Mizutani - PhD student (Rotation)

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. 

Rico Pohle - PhD student

I received my diploma in experimental physics from Dresden University of Technology (Germany) in 2012. During my diploma I studied surface properties of the unconventional pnictide superconductor LiFeAs with an Scanning Tunneling Microscope. After joining the PhD program of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) as one of its first students, I switched to theoretical physics and try to enlarge my understanding of thermodynamical and dynamical properties in spin liquids. Next to my studies I am very interested in martial arts, dancing and the exploration of the culture, history and spirit of the islands of Okinawa and Japan.

Kimberly Remund - PhD student (Rotation)  

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.

Judit Romhanyi - Postdoctoral Scholar

After finishing my PhD in Budapest in the group of Karlo Penc, I moved to Germany. I was a post-doc first at the Leibniz Institute in the group of Jeroen van den Brink in Dresden, then in the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart with Hidenori Takagi. My research includes novel quantum phases, exotic excitations and topological properties of magnetic insulators, orbital physics and multiferroic materials. When time permits, I enjoy the wonderful environment and excellent food in Okinawa and try to get familiar with Japanese culture and language.

Shiho Saito - Research Unit Administrator

I provide administrative support for the members of TQM unit since the unit was established at OIST in October 2011. After moving from Stuttgart, Germany to Okinawa in 2009, I have been enjoying my life here on a subtropical island. In my private time, I enjoy swimming.

Tokuro Shimokawa - Postdoctoral Scholar

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.


Andreas Thomasen - PhD student (Rotation)

I graduated from Aarhus University with a master's degree in optics and electronics. I've since then done various short research projects in quantum state engineering and cold atom physics. Eventually I have found myself at OIST, where I'm now doing a rotation in the Theory of Quantum Matter unit. Learning about frustrated magnetism and spin wave theory is incredibly exciting for me, as it is a new topic for me, and the math is fun to work with.

Han Yan - PhD student (also supervised by Prof. Hirotaka Sugawara)

After obtaining my Master of Applied Math from Cambridge and Master of Physics from Northwestern, I will start my PhD study at OIST. I am mostly interested in the theoretical aspect of condensed matter physics and am particularly very keen to find out what insights can we get when solving condensed matter problems with tools from high energy theory. When not thinking about science, I enjoy learning drawing manga and cycling , and this beautiful subtropical island in Japan is definitely the best place for both!