I graduated in Astronomy at the University of Padova (Italy), Department of Physics and Astronomy ”Galileo Galilei”, in 2008 and I obtained the PhD in Astronomy from the University of Padova in 2012.
From 2012 I am appointed as an STFC funded Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physical Sciences at the Open University.
ASI-Herschel fellowship: 1 year fellowship (2011-2012) financed by ASI (the Italian Space Agency) at the University of Padova, Department of Physics and Astronomy ”Galileo Galilei”, titled: ”Analysis and Interpretation of data from cosmological observation with Herschel”.
Visiting fellowship : 6 Months (from March to September 2008) working at IAC (the Institute of Astrophysics in Canary Islands) in La Laguna, Tenerife, on my MSc thesis with the supervision of Prof. Ismael Perez Fournon, Prof. Alberto Franceschini and Dr. Mattia Vaccari and in collaboration with Imperial College London.
My main research interest is focused on statistical studies of star-forming galaxies, especially exploiting Infrared/Submillimetre data, to investigate how galaxies have been formed and have evolved/changed with cosmic time (with a particular interest in using strong gravitational lensing events to tackle this question). I am (co)author of 55 papers in refereed journals with 2500 citations and an h-index of 27.
During my PhD I have worked as undergraduate teaching assistant in Physics ad Astronomy courses.
I have a great passion for astronomy outreach and public engagement with a particular interest in using Astronomy as an Education tool to both encourage younger generations in studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and also to promote Education more widely as an instrument for improving the quality of life especially among those communities located in deprived areas and/or developing countries.
Pursuing my passion in communicating astronomy with the public I have run activities with the National Institute of Astrophysics in Italy (INAF) during my PhD (such as the Astrokids project, http://www.media.inaf.it/ in collaboration with La Feltrinelli book shop and the European Research Night). When I moved to the UK I became a STEM ambassador, I volunteered as “expert” within the STFC PE project Explore your Universe and I joined the astronomy outreach group at the Open University, running outreach activities engaging both children (from primary to high school level) and adult audiences (both amateur astronomer and general public). Following my commitment of exploiting Astronomy to promote Education I am also a reviewer for AstroEDU, the IAU on-line platform for peer-reviewed astronomy education activities and I am a volunteer for the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development.
Within the context of astronomy outreach & PE, notable is my involvement in the National co-ordination of the International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015, http://www.light2015.org) for which I am chairing the Outreach & Education working group of the UK IYL2015 National Committee. This is developing and implementing a series of activities to engage both schools (students and teachers) and the general public with the IYL cross-disciplinary messages. IYL2015 is a global initiative (supported by UNESCO) that intends to highlight the importance and impact of light and light technologies in our everyday lives, in the modern economy, for our future and for the development of society. The Open University has become a sponsor for the IYL and I am also managing its sponsorship by organising local IYL events and producing educational material relevant for the year (comprising an IYL cartoon co-funded by the RAS, the Open University and SEPnet).
I am a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and chair of the Outreach & Education working group within the International year of light 2015 UK National commitee.
I am involved in many scientific consortia and international projects such as Herschel HerMES, Herschel ATLAS, Spitzer SERVS and Euclid in which I am not only a member, but I am also leading internal working groups for specific data and science deliveries. I am also member of an European Commission Research Executive Agency funded project (under the SP1-Cooperation, Collaborative project, Small or medium-scale focused research project, FP7-SPACE-2013-1 scheme) HELP which goal is completing the exploitation of the data taken by the Herschel space observatory during its mission (3 years mission started in 2009) and consolidate a new legacy of partner institutes to foster the scientific collaboration both within Europe and with South Africa.