Research > Research lines and specific projects

Research lines and specific projects


Below, we list some of the specific research lines and projects at UDP provided by both, Faculty and adjunct Faculty. Please contact us for more details on these projects, or to work with us.

Prof. Manuel Aravena

Keywords/Research lines: Galaxy formation and evolution, submillimeter galaxies, dusty star-forming galaxies, interstellar medium in galaxies, radio astronomy, ALMA (+ATCA, VLA, APEX, NOEMA, VLT-MUSE), CCAT-p, APEX-Concerto

Specific projects:

  • Investigation of ISM properties of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs/SMGs)
  • Nature and search for Ly-α emission in distant galaxy protoclusters 
  • Kinematics and morphology of z>5 galaxies using [CII] line emission
  • Characterization of faint dust emission in galaxies in cosmological deep fields (HUDF)
  • ISM properties of massive star-forming galaxies at z=1-2
  • CO line emission in nearby optical quasars

Prof. Roberto J. Assef

Keywords/Research lines: Active Galactic Nuclei, WISE, Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies (Hot-DOGs), photometric redshifts, LSST

Specific possible projects will be in one of the following areas:

  • The study of Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies or Hot DOGs, which are a family of hyper-luminous obscured quasars possibly probing a key stage in galaxy evolution
  • Environments of high-redshift quasars
  • WISE-detected mid-IR transients
  • IR AGN identification

Prof. Lucas Cieza

Keywords/Research lines: Planet formation, Protoplanetary disks, ALMA, VLT, Cosmic dust. 

Specific possible projects:

  • ALMA long-baseline observations of protoplanetary disks
  • Demographic studies of protoplanetary disks at optical, IR and submm wavelengths. 
  • Outbursting pre-main-sequence stars (FUor and EXor objects)
  • Dust evolution modeling applied to planet formation.
  • Laboratory measurements of dust opacities (meteorites and ices) at IR and submm wavelengths. 

Prof. Evelyn Johnston

Keywords/Research lines: Mass assembly history of Dwarf galaxies, Formation of Nuclei in Dwarf galaxies, the evolution of S0 galaxies, Very Large Telescope, MUSE 3D spectroscopy

Specific possible projects:

  • Next Generation Fornax Survey (NGFS)
  • BUDDI (Bulge-Disc Decomposition of IFU data), to cleanly isolate the spectra of the nuclei from the host galaxies
  • Studies of the stellar populations of dwarf galaxies to better understand how they build up their masses

Prof. Paula Jofré

Keywords/Research lines: Stellar phylogenies, Galactic astronomy, stellar spectroscopy, Gaia, spectroscopic surveys, data-mining, machine learning 

Specific possible projects:

  • Early formation and evolution of the Milky Way with metal-poor stars
  • Chemical tagging and chemical phylogeny 
  • Creation of catalogs for benchmarking stellar surveys like SDSS, 4MOST, WEAVE, and PLATO
  • Synergies of stellar spectroscopy, asteroseismology, and dynamics 
  • Synergies of stellar spectroscopy with exoplanet properties


Prof. Thomas Maedler

Keywords/Research lines: General Relativity, Numerical Relativity with null coordinates, Gravitational Waves, Neutron Stars and Black Holes, Relativistic Hydrodynamics, Gaia astrometry, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence .

Specific possible projects:

  • Machine learning methods in Numerical Relativity.
  • Relativistic hydrodynamics with null coordinates.
  • Gravitational wave memory and angular momentum
  • Gaia and relativity

Prof. José L. Prieto

Keywords/Research lines: Supernovae and their progenitor stars, optical transients and their host galaxies, massive stars, variable stars. 

Specific possible projects:

  • Constraining progenitors and explosion mechanisms of SNe and related transients. 
  • Photometric and spectroscopic follow-up of bright SNe, nuclear transients (e.g., TDE), and intermediate luminosity transients.
  • IFU spectroscopy of the host galaxies of SNe and tidal disruption events.
  • Spectroscopy of light echoes from Eta Carinae’s 19th Century “Great Eruption”.

Prof. Claudio Ricci

Keywords/Research lines: Supermassive black holes, Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) physical structure and kinematics, AGN evolution and surveys, high-energy astrophysics, high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy, simulations of reprocessed X-ray radiation (ray tracing), heavily obscured AGN, Luminous and Ultra-luminous infrared galaxies and mergers, Cosmic X-ray background

Specific possible projects:

  • Obscuration properties of local AGN
  • Super Eddington AGN in the X-rays
  • U/LIRGs in the X-ray band
  • Ray-tracing X-ray simulations of the close environments of AGN
  • Multi-wavelength studies of local AGN
  • Changing-look AGN
  • Nuclear transients in the X-rays (AGN, TDEs)

Prof. Alice Zurlo

Keywords/Research lines: High-contrast imaging, Direct imaging of exoplanets, Characterization of exoplanets, Orbits and stability of planetary systems. Visual binaries, brown dwarfs, radial velocities, SPHERE, VLT, NIRC2, NACO. Protostars and protoplanets, FUors, EXors. Circumstellar disks, protoplanetary disks. ALMA, interferometry. Circumplanetary disks and satellites. Microlensing, effect of multiplicity in disks and planet formation. White dwarfs.  

Specific possible projects:

  • Research of satellites around exoplanets
  • Research of circumplanetary disks
  • Detection and characterization of protoplanets
  • Interaction disk-planets
  • Orbits of direct imaging planets
  • Study of multiplicity in young stellar objects
  • Study of protostars 


Areas of Research