Scientific Programme

Scientific Programme

The preliminary scientific programme will be available by the beginning of October 2017
The final scientific programme will be available by 28 November 2017.
Herewith please find the list of current and confirmed invited speakers.


Invited Speakers

Dr. Diego Harari
Principal Researcher,  Centro Atómico Bariloche – CNEA/CONICET

Ph.D in Physics, University of Buenos Aires (1984). Principal Researcher of CONICET (National Research Council) at Centro Atómico Bariloche, Argentina. Associate Professor at Instituto Balseiro. Fields of interest: Astroparticle physics and cosmology, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, cosmic microwave background polarization. Member of the Pierre Auger and QUBIC Collaborations.

Topic: CMB Polarization

Dr Emily Petroff
Postdoctoral Researcher,  ASTRON

Dr Emily Petroff is a postdoctoral researcher at ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Her research focuses on fast radio bursts (FRBs): short-duration astrophysical transients of unknown origin. Her current work includes studies of the growing FRB population and designing surveys with large radio telescopes to find new fast radio bursts, including the Westerbork Telescope in the Netherlands and the Parkes telescope in Australia. Emily completed her PhD in Astrophysics in 2015 at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Topic: Fast Radio Bursts

Dr. Erin Kara
Postdoctoral Research Fellow,  University of Maryland / NASA GSFC

Dr. Kara obtained her PhD in 2015 from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She is currently a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow and a Joint Space-Science Prize Fellow at the University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research is in observations of the inner accretion flows around black holes, primarily in Active Galactic Nuclei and Tidal Disruption Events.

Topic: Super-Eddington accretion and ULXs

Dr. Gabriela S. Vila
Assistant Researcher of the Argentinian National Research Council (CONICET),  Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR / CONICET-CICBA)

Dr. in Physics by the University of Buenos Aires (2007). Assistant Researcher of the Argentinian Research Council (CONICET) since 2013. My research is focused on the modeling of non-thermal high-energy sources hosting compact objects. I have mainly worked on the development of radiative models for jets and coronas in X-ray binaries.

Topic: Relativistic Jets from AGN and X-Ray Binaries

Professor PhD Ivan De Mitri
Professor, Universita’ del Salento, Lecce, Italy and INFN Lecce, Italy

He started his career with MACRO at the underground Gran Sasso laboratory (LNGS), studying cosmic rays (CRs), atmospheric neutrino oscillations and searching for GUT magnetic monopoles. After a post-doc fellowship at LNGS within ICARUS, he joined the study of gamma-ray astronomy and CRs with ARGO-YBJ in Tibet. He is currently involved in AUGER, analyzing CRs at the highest energies, and DAMPE, measuring galactic CRs and searching for dark matter signatures with a satellite on orbit since December 2015.

Topic: Recent Advances in Cosmic Ray Observations

Dr Tana Joseph
Postdoctoral Research Fellow,  South African Astronomical Observatory

Dr. Tana Joseph is a postdoctoral fellow at the South African Astronomical Observatory. She previously held an SKA postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cape Town. Dr. Joseph completed her PhD at the University of Southampton in 2013. Her research area is extragalactic X-ray binaries, with a emphasis on low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Her current research focusses on two projects: a search for black hole binaries in the globular clusters of the Virgo and Fornax Clusters and finding LMXBs in the Magellanic Clouds. This multi-wavelength research incorporates X-ray, radio and optical datasets from ground and spaced based telescopes.

Topic: X-ray binaries

Prof. Teresa Montaruli
Full Professor,  University of Geneva

My research, developed in Italy initially, then in Wisconsin and now in Geneva, is on neutrinos and high energy astrophysics. I worked initially on atmospheric neutrino oscillations and later on neutrino and gamma-ray astrophysics. I work in the IceCube experiment and on the construction of silicon based camera for Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes in CTA.

Topic: Astrophysics with high-energy neutrinos

Dr Yabebal Fantaye
AIMS-ARETE Junior Chair,  AIMS South Africa

Yabebal Fantaye was born and educated in Ethiopia. He completed his PhD in Trieste, Italy and did two postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in the University of Oslo, Norway, and at the department of Mathematics in the University of Tor Vergata Italy. Currently he holds the AIMS-ARETE Junior Research Chair at AIMS South Africa. Dr. Fantaye is a member of the Planck satellite consortium. His research interest includes understanding the statistical property of the Planck CMB maps and developing Machine Learning techniques for astronomical data analysis.

Topic: Testing the CMB isotropy with current and future experiments


A Prof. Gavin Rowell
A/Prof. Gavin Rowell,  University of Adelaide

My key interests are concerned with our Galaxy's extreme particle accelerators (e.g supernova remnants). Intimately related to this is the challenge to find gamma-ray sources created by cosmic-ray interactions with the interstellar medium. As a result, much of my research effort is devoted to gamma-ray studies of Galactic sources, and, surveys of the interstellar medium devoted to the forthcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array gamma-ray observatory

Topic: Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy

Dr Caprini

Dr Chiara Caprini
Researcher at CNRS (France) APC Paris

Chiara Caprini received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford (U.K.). After a postdoc at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and one at C.E.A. Saclay (France), she became a permanent researcher for the French Institution C.N.R.S. She is a cosmologist, and the main subject of her present research is to investigate the potential of gravitational waves to probe cosmology. She is the leader of the Cosmology Working Group within the consortium of LISA, ESA’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

Topic: GW Sources and Cosmology


Professor Luke Drury
Director, School of Cosmic Physics Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Luke Drury obtained his PhD from the university of Cambridge, England, and subsequently worked at the MPI fuer Kernphysik in Heidelberg from 1979 to 1986. In 1987 he was awarded the Shakti P Duggal award at the Moscow international cosmic ray conference. Since 1986 he has been a senior professor in Dublin Institute for Advanced studies working mainly on particle acceleration theory, plasma astrophysics, and the origin of cosmic rays.

Topic: Physics of Cosmic Rays


Prof Roy Maartens
SKA Research Chair, Professor of Cosmology University of the Western Cape, and University of Portsmouth

Roy Maartens obtained his PhD in cosmology from the University of Cape Town in 1980. He now holds the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) Research Chair at the University of the Western Cape, and is also a professor of cosmology at the University of Portsmouth. Roy is interested in how we can use 3D maps of the galaxy distribution to probe the very early Universe, to measure dark energy and to test Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Topic: Cosmology with the SKA


Experimental Dark Matter Searches
Elena Aprile, Columbia, USA

Direct Detection of Gravitational Waves – Status and Future
Parameswaran Ajith, TIFR Bangalore, India

The Event Horizon Telescope
Shep Doeleman, MIT, USA

Dark Energy 100 years after “Einstein’s Biggest Blunder"
Alex Filippenko, U. of Berkeley, USA

Supermassive Black Hole Binaries Binaries and Pulsar Timing Arrays
K. J. Lee, Kavli Institute Beijing, China

DM and Fundamental Physics
Hitoshi Murayama, IPMU, Japan

Electromagnetic Counterparts of GW Sources
Samaya Nissanke, Radboud U., Netherlands

The Dark Energy Survey
Marcelle Soares Santos, Fermilab, USA

Probing the Epoch of Reionization with HI Surveys
Jonathan Sievers, U. of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa