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I am a theoretical astrophysicist moving towards interdisciplinary research.

I am a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am part of the UCSC Astrobiology Initiative.

 

I conduct interdisciplinary research on the role of cosmic radiation in the emergence of life, involving knowledge from different fields. While biologists have not yet reached a consensus on the definition of life,   homochirality - the specific molecular handedness of biomolecules -  is a phenomenon only produced by life. The goal of my research is to understand if spin-polarized cosmic radiation can act as a chiral evolutionary pressure. To address this question I am designing experiments to understand chiral selective light-biopolymers interactions.

My other topics of interest are in high energy astrophysics: I study the formation of relativistic jets around spinning black holes, and build models to interpret the observations of M87 - from the region close to the black hole where the recent EHT observations are a key to understand the physics at play in jet formation, to hundreds of light-years away from the galaxy's core, where the detailed profile of the jet provides insight into the collimation mechanisms.

 

I also study the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, the most energetic particles in the Universe. I developed codes to calculate the acceleration of cosmic ray nuclei at mildly relativistic shocks associated with gamma-ray bursts, their propagation in Galactic and extragalactic magnetic fields to predict anisotropies, and the fluxes of secondary neutrinos and gamma-rays expected from various types of sources. 

I am currently a member of the Telescope Array Collaboration and a visiting scientist at RIKEN (ABBL) in Japan. Telescope Array is a cosmic ray observatory. It detects ultra-high energy cosmic rays, through the extensive air-shower they produce when they interact with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Below are events that I help to organize. 

                 Past events                                                             Upcoming events

31st Texas Symposium
September 12 to 16, 2022