Department of Science and Technology
Parthenope University of Naples
Centro Direzionale - Isola C4
(80143) Napoli - ITALY
Phone:+ 39 081 5476623
I am an assistant professor (RTDA) at the Parthenope University of Naples, in the Department of Science and Technology, where I work in the context of the Solar System Science and Exploration team. I am a member of the Comet Interceptor Science team, the next space mission to a yet-to-be-discovered Comet!
As part of my role at the University, I teach Physics to bachelor and master students.
Time-Series Analysis and
Modelling of light curves
Preparation and execution of Observing Programs
Spectroscopic data reduction (Reflex,Molecfit) and
PostDoc. Parthenope University of Naples
July 2019 - to date
I am currently working at the Parthenope University of Naples (Science and Technology Department- DIST) in the framework of the MIUR-funded PON program for incoming fellowship.
By working in the context of the Solar System Science and Exploration Team of the DIST, I am currently involved in several cutting-edge projects:
- I am a co-I for the Comet Interceptor ESA Space Mission;
- I am involved in the design of the DFP-DISC Instrument for Comet Interceptor.
- I am a member of the Solar System Science Collaboration for the Vera Rubin LSST survey;
In the context of study of the Galactic shape and evolution, I am also currently involved in spectroscopic survey (SDSS, Gaia-ESO) and instrument design (MAVIS).
As part of my role, I teach Physics and Astrophysics (350 hours/year) and act as a supervisor for bachelor and master thesis projects.
November 2018 - July 2019
As a (current) member of the Gaia-ESO Survey, I contributed to perform the Quality Control on the data before the final data release, which would happen this fall!
In the first 6 months, I also worked as member of the ESA Gaia DPAC (CU-5) and part of the Development Unit 13. I have significantly contributed to the data reduction of the spectra collected for the Standard Spectroscopic Stars Survey (SPSS, PI: E. Pancino). By working on support activities for Gaia, I build up on my expertise by acquiring new statistical skills and analysis technique on stellar populations studies.
I am also a SDSS External Collaborator for the ongoing projects aiming at studying the chemistry of the young populations in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds.
I recently also joined the WEAVE Survey Science Team.
PostDoc. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
July 2015 - October 2018
My current research focuses on the use of Classical Cepheids as stellar proxy for the present-time chemical composition of the Galactic Interstellar Medium. I have developed automatic tools to identify thousands of new Cepheids in the PanSTARRs multi-epoch dataset, while also working on new analysis methods to derive accurate chemical abundances from Near-Infrared spectra of obscured Cepheids.
Visitor Researcher. The University of Tokyo, Department of Astronomy.
May 2015 - June 2015
I spent a month visiting my collaborators at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Tokyo. During that month I had the opportunity to strengthen my collaboration network, by also visiting the Kyoto Sangyo Univeristy and its observatory, where the new instrument WINERED was undergoing the commissioning.
I also had the opportunity to give a Colloquium Talk.
Visitor researcher. European Southern Observatory, Garching.
January 2015 - February 2015
I extended my stay at ESO as a visitor to carry on the projects I started during the 2 years of my PhD.
ESO Student fellow.European Southern Observatory, Garching.
October 2012 - December 2014
I have been given the opportunity to spend 2 out of the 3 years of my phD at ESO, thanks to the ESO Studentship program.
At ESO, I have experienced the high-level scientific environment of a world-leading observatory. I had the chance to talk directly to the project-scientists and reduction- pipeline developers of most of the VLT instruments that I have used for my science.
PhD in Astronomy cum laude. University of Rome Tor Vergata.
November 2011 - December 2014
My phD was held in the University of Rome Tor Vergata. I graduated with a thesis on: Cepheids as stellar tracers to determine galactic structures: An application to the Magellanic Clouds
My supervisors were: Prof. Giuseppe Bono, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Dr. Martino Romaniello at ESO.
Master degree. University of Rome Tor Vergata.
I completed my Master cum Laude with a final dissertation was on '' The distance and geometry of the Magellanic Clouds using the Classical Cepheids NIR Period-Wesenheit Relations", supervised by Prof. Giuseppe Bono .
My curriculum included: Galactic and Stellar Astrophysics, Plasma Physics, Extragalactic Astrophysics, Gravitation and Cosmology, Gravitational Waves.
Cometary Dust, Solar System Science. Exoplanets. Variable Stars: Cepheids – Cosmic Distance Scale.
Stellar Evolution: intermediate mass stars evolution, dredge up.
Galactic Evolution: kinematics and chemical composition of the Milky Way. Magellanic Clouds: three-dimensional structure, kinematics and chemical tagging.
INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Torino, Italy, May 2019
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy, December, 2018
Joint Colloqium, INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, May, 2018
MPIA Königstuhl Colloquium, January, 2017
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy, November, 2016
Tokyo University, Japan, June, 2015
Conferences & Schools Attended
April 2021: EGU General Assembly 2021 in session EOS5.1 - 'Promoting and supporting equality, diversity and inclusion in the geosciences'
January 2021: 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Sydney Australia and Virtual meeting: The Italian contribution to Comet Interceptor, the ESA F-class mission to an ancient world.
2 July 2020: EAS 2020 - Virtual Meeting. Invited Talk for S7: The Magellanic Clouds in the 2020s: a spectroscopic perspective: The complex structure and dynamical history of the Magellanic Clouds revealed by Cepheids.
7-8 November 2019: Annibale de Gasparis Workshop, Naples, Italy (Invited Talk): Wide, Fast & Deep: come LSST rivoluzionerà la nostra conoscenza del Sistema Solare
24-28 June 2019: EWASS, Lyon, France: Three accepted contributed talks for the following Symposia: Dynamics of Disk Galaxies, Exploring the time-domain phase space from current surveys to LSST, Stellar populations in the era of ELTs: advances over the next decade and beyond
6-10 May 2019: Metals in Galaxies, Near and Far: Looking Ahead. (Invited Speaker)
4-8 February 2019: Cosmic Beacons, Sexten. (Invited Speaker)
21-24 January 2019: Astronomical Time Series 2019, Heidelberg: The use of templates to characterise variable stars from sparsely sampled light-curves in all-sky time-domain surveys (Invited Speaker)
20– 31 August 2018: XXXth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union. Focus-Meeting 7: Radial metallicity gradients in star forming galaxies. (Invited Talk)
20– 31 August 2018: XXXth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union. AU Symposium 347: Early Science with ELTs (EASE). Talk on: Cepheids with MICADO@E-ELT: a 2-step cosmic distance scale
16– 19 October 2017: Piercing the Galactic Darkness: stellar populations in highly extincted regions of the Milky Way. Talk on: “Dissecting the young Galaxy via NIR spectroscopy of Cepheids“
26– 30 June 2017: European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, SS7: Near Infrared High Resolution Spectroscopy: where are we? Talk on: “Dissecting the Galaxy via NIR spectroscopy of young Cepheids“
25 July – 19 August, 2016: Chemical evolution of Galaxies. Munich Institute for Astro and Particle Physics (MIAPP)–Garching bei Munchen, Germany. Talk on: Cepheids as galactic probes: the detailed chemical abundances of the young stellar population in the Milky Way disk (Invited Participant)
23 – 27 May, 2016: ISS-BJ workshop: Astronomical Distance Determination in the Space Age, Beijing, International Space Science Institute. Talk on: Cepheids as Galactic yardsticks (Invited Participant)
8 Oct – 20 Oct, 2016: ESO-STEEL: PhD school on Science and Technology with EELT. Ettore Majorana Foundation And Centre For Scientific Culture. Invited tutorial on: Light-curve templates in the large-surveys Era
27 April – 30 April, 2015: Frontiers of Stellar Spectroscopy in the Local Group and Beyond. MPIA– Heidelberg, Germany. Talk on: The Galactic thin disk radial metallicity gradient as traced by Classical Cepheids
13 – 17 October, 2014: RASPUTIN: resolved and unresolved stellar populations. ESO, Garching bei München, Germany. Talk on: The 3D structure of the Magellanic Clouds traced by Classical Cepheids
6 May – 20 June, 2014: The Extragalactic Distance Scale. Munich Institute for Astro and Particle Physics (MIAPP)–Garching bei Munchen, Germany. Talk on: The 3D structure of the Magellanic Clouds traced by Classical Cepheids.
May 6–9, 2013: Fifty Years of Wide Field Studies in the Southern Hemisphere: Resolved Stellar Populations in the Galactic Bulge and the Magellanic Clouds – CTIO –La Serena, Chile (Talk)
Rome July 1–6, 2012: EWASS – European Week of Astronomy and Space Science—Universitá Pontificia Lateranense– Vatican City, (Talk)
June 11-15, 2012: International School of Astrophysics "Francesco Lucchin" XII Cycle,I Curse – and GREAT–ITN, Teramo,Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, Italy (Talk)
September 4-9, 2011: International School of Astrophysics "Francesco Lucchin" – XI Cycle, IV Course Erice (Sicily, Italy) (Talk) Ettore Majorana Foundation And Centre For Scientific Culture. The transition from low-mass stars to planets – Galaxy bulges
May 3–6, 2011:The Fundamental Cosmic Distance Scale. State of the Art and the GAIA perspective — ESF —Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples (Poster)
Teaching & Other Experiences
2017: SOC chair and main organiser for Piercing the Galactic Darkness: stellar populations in highly extincted regions of the Milky Way.
2016: LOC Member for the "F. Lucchin" International PhD School Science and Technology with E-ELT (STEEL)
2015: LOC Member for the Summer School 2015: New Era of the Cosmic Distance Scale
2014: LOC Member for ESO Workshop RASPUTIN
2012: LOC Member for EWASS 2012 - SYMPOSIUM 6 Stellar Populations 55 years after the Vatican conference
03/2020- 07/2020: Fisica Generale per Conduzione del Mezzo Navale
04/2011- 07/2012: Tutoring of Astromundus Students in Stellar Astrophysics.
Telescope time awarded. I have been very successful in obtaining telescope time at high-competitive facilities. In fact, I have been awarded a total of 16 nights of telescope time at ESO VLT (P93, P96, P104), 6 nights with CARMENES at the CAHA observatory (3.6m) and 8 nights at GROND at the 2.2m MPG telescope as PI. As Co-I, I have also been awarded of ~15 nights (P89, P96, P100, PI: Bertrand Lemasle, Martino Romaniello), 9 nights at ESO NTT as a CO-I (P98, visitor instrument: WINERED, PI: Giuseppe Bono).
Telescope observing experience. I have been the visitor observer for the awarded 9 nights at ESO NTT, 2 nights at the TNG as PI (AOT31), 5 nights at the VLT and 5 nights at the OHP as Co-I. I am also Co-I of an observing proposal awarded of HST 12 orbits x 2 cycles (cycle 21, PI: N.Evans) and of 5 nights at SUBARU (PI: N.Matsunaga). I have also obtained more than 20 nights of Guaranteed time at the IRSF/SIRIUS facility in South Africa.
Acquired skills from observing experience. In the context of planning and executing observations, I have developed skills in: selecting the best diagnostics to derive kinematical and chemical properties of the targets; handling of photometric catalogs and databases (2MASS, UCAC, ASAS, OGLE, IRSF, PS1) for target selection; using of preparation tools (ETC to calculate suitable exposure times in order to obtain the required signal-to-noise ratios, VMMPS to prepare VIMOS masks, KARMA to ensure fibers allocation for all the required stars in the KMOS field, DS9, SKYCAT and FIMS to make finding charts); managing OBs (P2PP tool); reducing spectroscopic raw data through the use of the ESO pipelines (UVES, ISAAC and VIMOS), using software for telluric correction (MOLECFIT) and spectroscopic analysis (ARES, MOOG).
I'm very passionate about sharing my interest for astronomy with the general public. Here there is a list of the principal activities I have done and the people I collaborated with in these years.
I have been invited to give a seminar in the awesome dome of the Planetario Civico di Milano on my scientific research. The event involved more than 70 people, including University students.
I'm a proud funding member of the SCIENZIMPRESA outreach onlus, and I am still involved in its activities. In 2012, I have been a teacher for the Sperimental Physics and Astrophysics classes SI organised for Primary, Junior High and High schools. I also contributes to the Facebook web page (please, click and follow us!).
I collaborated with the Estrellas Association at the Astronomic Observatoy of Rome Monte Porzio as a guide of the Astronomic Museum ASTROLAB. The museum also offers the possibility to observe the Sun with the H-alpha filter at the focus of the 30cm-diamter Newtonian Telescope. I have been a scientific explainer for many different groups, including kindergarden kids, high school students, adults and mixed groups.
I had the chance of working at the Planetarium of Rome in 2009 (I truly regret to inform you that it the Planetarium is currently closed to the public due to lack of fundings!).
The Planetarium of Rome is a 90-seats amphitheater with a spectacular reproduction of the starry night. The experience to work there even for only a few months made me falling in love with the planetarium and I enjoyed to be a speaker in many occasions. During the Science Festival in Rome, 2009, I have been involved as the content creator and director of two shows in a small (~40 seats) itinerant dome. I was also the speaker for a couple of live events. Later, I collaborated with ATA as a speaker and director for didactic planetarium shows in Primary, Junior High and High schools.