Academic Profile

I was born in the city of Terrassa (Catalonia) in 1964. I went to Escola Pia de Terrassa from my childhood to the end of high school, where I had the good fortune of having several good teachers who guided me on my interests in physics and astronomy.

I went to the Autonomous University of Barcelona (other than its name, this university does not have any special "autonomy"), where I obtained a degree in Physics. More important than the degree, I acquired a strong background in physics and mathematics from a number of excellent professors. I learned astronomy on my own and through my membership in the amateur astronomical societies, where I learned the sky and the way optical telescopes work. I received the important good advice, from some of my professors and from people I met at CERN during a summer student program, that being admitted and financially supported for graduate studies in the USA was actually not all that difficult if I set my mind to do it.

So, I applied to the universities that seemed to have a good program in astrophysics and cosmology, and in 1987 I went to Princeton University, where I enrolled as graduate student in the great Department of Astrophysical Sciences. The research environment there was truly excellent and I had the great privilege of learning from some of the greatest minds in the world of astrophysics. After completing research on galactic dynamics, the intergalactic medium, neutron stars and gravitational lensing, I completed my PhD thesis on the latter topic in 1991, with invaluable guidance from Tony Tyson, Ed Turner and Jerry Ostriker.

I had a postdoc position in Cambridge University until 1993, where I was again very fortunate to meet some of the best astrophysics researchers in the world and to work with Martin J. Rees, a wonderful experience. In 1993 I moved to the Institute for Advanced Study for my second postdoc, back to Princeton, where I had a wonderful time learning from the many fellow postdocs coming from around the world who were engaged in impressive research projects. In 1996 I went to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania as assistant professor and in 2000 I moved to the Department of Astronomy at The Ohio State University, where I became tenured Associate Professor in 2003.

In 2005 I decided to move back to my native country with a position of the Institució Catalana per a la Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), at the host institution Institut de Ciències de l'Espai, located at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 2009 I changed my host institution to the Institut de Ciències del Cosmos at the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), with the same ICREA position, where I have continued working on my research.