Location
LGRT-B-619J

Education

B.S., University of Rome, 1987

PhD, University of Rome, 1992

Address

University of Massachusetts Department of Astronomy LGRT-B 619E 710 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01003-9305

Research Interests

Star Formation in Galaxies.

The conversion of gas into stars is one of the key physical processes that governs the evolution of galaxies through cosmic times. While simple in concept, this process has a high degree of complexity, owing to its multi-scale nature, from the sizes of individual stars to those of galaxies. My research interests aim at understanding star formation on the scales of galaxies, using information from a variety of space-borne (Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel, etc.) and ground-based telescopes, from ultraviolet to radio wavelengths. Specifically my research focuses on: the transfer of electromagnetic radiation through the interstellar medium to derive unbiased physical parameters of galaxies from their light, the physical link between individual stars and star clusters and the large star-forming structures of galaxies, and the link between gas and star formation, specifically how the feedback from evolving and star clusters affects the gas and its ability to form new generations of stars.

Recent research

Recent and near-future multi-wavelength observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope are being used to characterize populations of star clusters in nearby galaxies. In particular, imaging and spectroscopic data will constrain: the timescales for emergence of the star clusters from their natal dust ang gas clouds, the role of feedback in this timescale and in the subsequent evolution of the clusters, the stellar Initial Mass Function, and the relation between star cluster populations and the unclustered star formation of galaxies. In parallel, investigations of the UV and optical attenuation of galaxies continue to be conducted as preparatory work for the ESA mission Euclid.

Teaching Statement

My teaching philosophy revolves around fostering diversity and inclusion in Astronomy by inspiring curiosity and awe for the Universe around us. In addition to formal classroom instruction at both undergraduate and graduate level, I enjoy mentoring students for both undergraduate and graduate research projects and theses, and help guide their steps into future careers.