About Me

I was born in Italy and moved to Maryland with my family when I was eight.  My early curiosity about the Universe was fueled by visits to the Smithsonian Air & Space museum, a couple of small summer projects with Massimo Robberto, an astrophysicist and family friend, and seeing starry nights free of light pollution during family vacations to National Parks.  My interest in astronomy was matched by my love of novels and poetry.

In 2010, I graduated from the College of William & Mary with a double major in Physics and English.  As an undergrad, I worked with Prof. Seth Aubin and Prof. Irina Novikova on my physics thesis, which was entitled “The application of four-wave mixing to cold and ultra-cold atom imaging”.  When I started at William & Mary, I was awarded a 1693 Scholarship, which includes a grant for research, giving me the opportunity to also do some linguistics research; my research on the different Italian dialects spoken by my grandparents can be found here.  The summer before my final year of college, I was accepted to an REU program at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii and I spent 10 weeks there doing research on luminous infrared galaxies with Lisa Kewley.  Although I enjoyed all these different research experiences, astronomy filled me with the greatest sense of wonder, which led me to the Astronomy graduate program at UC Berkeley.

In my free time, I like to cook (primarily Italian food), bake, hike, and read voraciously.  I enjoy situations in which my astronomical and literary interests can overlap; one example is the annual one-minute colloquium, when all members of the Berkeley Astronomy Department have exactly one minute to introduce themselves and share their most recent research.  Since my first year as a grad student, I’ve been sharing my research through one-minute poems which can be found on the “Astro Poems” page.

Watching the sunrise on Mauna Kea on my 21st birthday.

Watching the sunrise on Mauna Kea on my 21st birthday.