PhD in Astrophysics, expert in exoplanets, instrumentation, data analysis and planetary exploration.
Who am I
I am a researcher working in Astrophysics and Space Sciences. My interests are broad and beyond pure research but, as everything in life, one has to make choices. I make a living(!?) working on exoplanet detection, data analysis, instrumentation and planetary exploration.
I also enjoy working in Science Communication, and organizing international multidisciplinary collaborations.
The Sustainable Offworld Network (SONet) is the latest initiative that I am co-leading with a multidisciplinary team of academics and professionals. It is aimed at developing and exploring long term sustainability of human activities in space. As a recent highlight our project called Nüwa was finalist in the Mars Society – Mars City State competition in 2020. You can learn about SONet at the project website or social media.
Proxima b and the Pale Red Dot project – I led the collaboration that in 2016 reported the discovery of Proxima b, the nearest exoplanet to the Solar System, which as a bonus happens to have some Earth-like characteristics (but not all!). The discovery of Proxima b was one of the scientific results most acclaimed in 2016. Pale Red Dot was also an initiative to make science communication with the public, and received numerous awards and recognitions abroad. I was also member of the IAU100 Name Exoworlds competition, which was a global effort (each country was given a star and exoplanet to be named) to engage general public in astronomy and science.
More planets and collaborations – I participate or have participated in numerous collaboration leading to high impact exoplanet results such as numerous contributions to the CARMENES survey, and other high profile nearby exoplanets; such as AU Mic b, the nearest young star with a transiting planet (published in Nature); or the gas giants around GJ 3512 which presented a paradigm shift in planet formation scenarios (published in Science) just to mention a few. One of the still ongoing efforts is the Red Dots collaboration, which consist on performing similar searches to other very nearby red dwarf stars, some of them performing real time data-realeses, and using the support of numerous pro-am astronomers from all over the world. This effort led to high profile discoveries such, the nearest compact multiplanet system GJ 887 (published in Science), or the trio of terrestrial planet candidates around GJ 1061 (published in A&A), as Barnard’s Star b (published in Nature) planet candidate.
I was born in 1979 and went to school in the vibrant city of Terrassa near Barcelona (Catalunya, Spain). I developed as a person in the neighboring village of Ullastrell, where I became deeply involved in its cultural and social life, and even in its politics (councilman between 2002 and 2004). I obtained my Physics degree(2002) and PhD at Universitat de Barcelona(2007), and afterwards worked as a postdoctoral researchers in the USA (Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC), Germany (University of Goettingen) and the UK, where I became a Reader in Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. For a number of professional and life reasons, I decided to go back to work in Spain at the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai-CSIC, where I currently hold a Ramón y Cajal Research fellowship(2019-now).
Post-Doctoral Research Assitant(2012 – 2014)
School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, UK), and University of Hertfordshire (UH, UK)
Post-Doctoral Researcher(2011 – 2012)
Institut for Astrophysics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany)
Carnegie Postdoctoral fellow(2008 – 2011)
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, (Washington DC, USA)
FPI doctoral fellow(2003 – 2008)
Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain