Dr. Merkli received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2000. After a three-year postdoc at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), a two-year postdoc at McGill University and the Centre de Recherches Mathematiques (Montreal) and a six-month research visit at the Fields Institute (Toronto), he joined the faculty of Memorial University in 2006.
His research is in mathematical physics, currently centered around the mathematics of open quantum systems. The goal is to rigorously describe various effects on the evolution of a quantum system due to its interaction with some environment (a very large other quantum system). These effects include, for instance, asymptotic relaxation (e.g. thermalization), (de)coherence, (dis)entanglement. They are important from a basic conceptual point of view, as well as from a practical one (quantum information, quantum computing). Mathematical tools used in his investigations are, other than standard functional analysis, (basic) theory of operator algebras, spectral theory of (unbounded non-normal) operators, spectral deformation theory, probability theory.