Ralph Wijers is professor of high-energy astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in energetic explosions from extreme objects such as black holes and neutron stars. He studied at Leiden Observatory and the University of Amsterdam and went on to Princeton (Compton Fellowship) and Cambridge (Royal Society Fellowship), and to a faculty position at Stonybrook University before joining API. He is a VICI and ERC Advanced Investigator laureate and co-winner of the 2002 EU Descartes Prize for research on gamma-ray bursts. He is a member of multiple national and international scientific governing and advisory councils and editor of two journals: Monthly Notices and New Astronomy Reviews. Since 2011, he is director of API.