Speakers 2021

Cecilia Ceccarelli

Université Grenoble Alpes, IPAG

Cecilia Ceccarelli is Astronomer at the Institute de Planétologie et Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), Université Grenoble Alpes, France. She started with a thesis on the Cosmic Background Radiation at the Università La Sapienza di Roma (Italy) in 1982 under the superviosion of Prof. Francesco Melchiorri. After a two years experience in the aerospace company Gavazzi Space, in 1987 she joined the CNR at the IFSI institute and in 1992-1994 NASA Ames (USA). She then moved to France where she joined IPAG in 1997. Since then, her main research focuses on the chemical evolution of young forming Solar-like planetary systems. She co-authored more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and led several large international projects, from the observational Large Programs with Herschel, IRAM/NOEMA and ALMA, to the Initial Training Network Astro-Chemical Origins (ACO) funded in 2018 under the European H2020 framework. In 2017, she was awarded an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant for the project “the Dawn of Organic Chemistry” (DOC).

She received the prize Irène Joliot-Curie 2006 ``Femme Scientifique de l'année'', awarded by the French Ministère of Research.

Razmik Mirzoyan

Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich, Germany

Razmik MIrzoyan is an astro-physicist, since 1992 working at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany. For the recent ~10 years he was the co- and spokesperson of the MAGIC collaboration. His main interests are in astrophysics, astro-particle physics, cosmic and gamma rays, cosmology, radiation detectors and photon sensors. He has graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) in 1981 and defended a PhD thesis in the Lebedev Institute (FIAN) in 1984 on the diagnostics of picosecond hot plasma in laser fusion experiments. Since then he is working in the ground-based very high energy gamma-ray astronomy with imaging air Cherenkov telescopes (IACT). He is one of the founders of the HEGRA IACT array (1991- 2002) as well as the co-founder of the MAGIC IACTs (2003- till now) and of the TAIGA array (2013- till now). His original scientific contributions are related to optimizing the design and performance of IACTs, precision measurements of pulsars, nebula, GRBs, blazars, development of novel photon sensors, etc.He is co-authoring some 550 scientific publications, over 300 in peer-reviewed journals and 15 patents granted in EU and in other foreign countries. He is a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Republic of Armenia.

Benedetta Ciardi

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

Benedetta Ciardi is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA, Garching, Germany). Since her PhD thesis, conducted at the University of Florence under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Ferrara, her interests have focused on investigations of cosmic reionization. Following a PreDoctoral fellowship at the Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, USA) and a Marie Curie PostDoctoral fellowship, she has become a staff member of MPA, where she has continued her theoretical studies of the high redshift universe and has become involved in a number of observational endeavours aimed at constraining the infancy of our universe. As the 21cm line emitted by the atoms of neutral hydrogen during the various stages of reionization is considered the most promising tool to investigate this process, several radio telescopes have been built and are being planned with the aim of detecting such line. Among them LOFAR is located in Europe, with one antenna field hosted by MPA and managed by Benedetta. Her academic achievements have been recognized with a Marie Curie Excellence Award and a Knighthood of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Joseph Silk

Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Oxford

Joseph Silk is Homewood Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, an emeritus researcher at Institut d’Astrophysique, Paris, and a Senior Fellow at the Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Oxford. He previously was Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford and Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Most of his scientific research is related to cosmology and particle astrophysics. His specialties include the cosmic microwave background, the fossil radiation from the beginning of the universe; formation of the galaxies; and exploration of the nature of the dark matter that is the dominant form of matter in the observable universe. His pioneering predictions of the damping of cosmic microwave background radiation fluctuations have been verified by several recent experiments. He received the International Balzan Prize for his work, and has published several popular books. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He most recently received the Gruber prize for Cosmology in 2019.

Roberto Maiolino

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK

Roberto Maiolino is Professor of Experimental Astrophysics at the Department of Physics (Cavendish Laboratory) of the University of Cambridge, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Honorary Professor at University College London, and Royal Society Research Professor. He graduated at the University of Florence, on secondment at the Steward Observatory (University of Arizona). Then he was postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Garching), astronomer at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Firenze) and senior astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory of Rome. He is primarily interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the formation and evolution of galaxies and their supermassive black holes, which he investigates by using multi-wavelength observations, obtained at some of the major astronomical facilities. Within this context, he is member Science Working Group of the James Webb Space Telescope and member the core Instrument Science Team of its primary spectrograph, NIRSpec. He is Co-PI and Project Scientist of MOONS, the next generation multi-object spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope, and also Project Scientist of HIRES, the high resolution spectrograph for the Extremely Large Telescope.

Debora Sijacki

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK

Debora Sijacki is a Reader in Astrophysics and Cosmology at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge. After finishing her PhD studies at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, Debora spent her postdoctoral years as a STFC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the IoA, University of Cambridge and as a Hubble Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University. Debora focuses in her work on computational astrophysics, especially studying galaxy formation and supermassive black holes. Her PhD work has been recognised with the Otto-Hahn medal of the Max-Planck Society, in 2015 she was awarded an European Research Council Starting Grant and in 2019 she received the PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC, for her outstanding contributions to and impact on HPC in Europe.

Piero Madau

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California Santa Cruz

Piero Madau is the Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He previously was Blaise Pascal Chair at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, Schroedinger Professor of the Pauli Center for Theoretical Studies at the University of Zurich, and Assistant Director of Research at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. His scientific research focuses on theoretical astrophysics and cosmology. His specialties include the cosmic history of star formation, the physics of the intergalactic medium, the formation of galaxies, the assembly and growth of massive black holes. His team has carried out some of the highest resolution computer simulations of the halo of dark matter that surrounds the Milky Way galaxy. For his contributions to our understanding of the dawn of galaxies, the formation of the first stars and black holes, and the reionization and chemical enrichment of intergalactic gas, he has been awarded the Humboldt Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics by the American Institute of Physics.

Ralf Klessen

Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Heidelberg

Ralf Klessen is full professor for theoretical astrophysics at Heidelberg University. His research activities focus on the formation of stars at present days and in the early universe, on the dynamics of the interstellar medium, on astrophysical turbulence, and on the development of numerical methods for computational astrophysics. Ralf Klessen is one of three speakers of the Heidelberg excellence cluster STRUCTURES, currently holds an ERC synergy grant together with colleagues in Rome, Paris, and Munich, and received an ERC advanced grant in 2013. Before he came to Heidelberg, he lead an Emmy Noether research group at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, and held postdoctoral positions at the University of California at Santa Cruz and at Leiden Observatory. He obtained his PhD in 1998 from Heidelberg University.

Pavel Kroupa

University of Bonn and Charles University of Prague

Pavel Kroupa is a professor at the University of Bonn and professorem hospitem at Charles University in Prague. He leads the stellar-populations and dynamics research group at both places and is studying the nature of gravitation and cosmology, how galaxies form and evolve. He lived in Czechoslavakia, Germany, South Africa, England and Australia, and studied physics in Perth at The University of Western Australia, obtained his PhD at Cambridge University in England as an Isaac Newton Scholar, obtained his habilitation at Kiel University as a Heisenberg Fellow, was awarded a Swinburne Visiting Professorship in Melbourne, a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship in Sheffield and an Innolec Lectureship in Theoretical Physics at Masaryk University. He received the Silver Commemorative Medal of the Senate of the Czech Republic and the Crystal Rose by the town Jindrichuv Hradec. He is well known for his contributions on the properties of initial stellar populations and stellar dynamics. His more recent research falsifies the dark-matter hypothesis, implying the need to develop an entirely new cosmological model. For this purpose he organised the development of a computer code for hydrodynamical structure formation in Milgromian gravitation, establishing an innovative research area.

Giovanna Tinetti

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London

Professor Giovanna Tinetti is the Head of Group of Astrophysics at University College London and Director of the UCL Centre for Space Exo-chemistry Data at Harwell. She is the Principal Investigator of Ariel, the European Space Agency's next medium-class (M4) science mission to be launched in 2029. She is also co-founder and co-director of Blue Skies Space Ltd, which aims at creating new opportunities for science space satellites. Select appointments and achievements include Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded program Exo-Lights, Cattedra Enrico Fermi 2019 - La Sapienza, Institute of Physics Moseley Medal 2011 and Prix Monte-Carlo Femme de l’Année 2021. Awarded a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Turin in Italy in 2003, Giovanna Tinetti has continued her academic career as NASA Astrobiology Institute Fellow at Caltech/JPL and then as European Space Agency external Fellow in Paris, before moving to UCL in 2007 as Royal Society URF Fellow. Prof. Tinetti has authored / co-authored over 200 research papers and has delivered over 260 talks, seminars and public lectures internationally.

Licia Verde

ICREA and Institute of Cosmological Sciences University of Barcelona

Licia Verde is a cosmologist and theoretical physicist and currently ICREA Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Barcelona. Her research interests include large-scale structure, dark energy, inflation and the cosmic microwave background. She received a Laurea degree in 1996 from University of Padua and a PhD in 2000 from the University of Edinburgh. She did postdoctoral study at Princeton University and joined the faculty of The University of Pennsylvania in 2003. From September 2007, Verde is an ICREA Professor at the ICCUB of the University of Barcelona. She was a Professor II at the University of Oslo during 2013 to 2016. Verde was editor of the Physics of the Dark Universe Journal and is currently deputy scientific director of the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. As of 1 January 2019 she is the chair of the science advisory board of the arXiv.

She is known primarily for work on large-scale structure, analysis of the WMAP data and development of rigorous statistical tools to analyse surveys of the universe.