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Previous issues of the newsletter are published below.


Name: Miguel Sánchez-Conde


Current position: Faculty


Affiliation: IFT UAM-CSIC


Field of research: Dark matter, astroparticle physics and cosmology

What is your career trajectory to date?

I got my B.Sc. degree in Astrophysics from Universidad de La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) back in 2004, and my PhD in October 2009 at the Andalusian Institute for Astrophysics & University of Granada. Right after that, I started my postdoctoral experience at the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics. One year and a half later I moved to California to start a second postdoc at KIPAC/SLAC, Stanford University. In September 2014, I moved back to Europe as a 'Wenner-Gren' postdoctoral fellow at the Oskar Klein Centre, Stockholm University. Finally, in March 2017, I joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Madrid Autonomous University (IFT UAM-CSIC) as a “Comunidad de Madrid Atracción de Talento” senior researcher and founded my own research group, currently composed by several PhD students and postdocs.


What are the most exciting open questions in your research area? The nature of the dark matter particle is still a mistery to us, and the big question not only in my field but also for Science in general. Also, I'm particularly interested in shedding light at the smallest scales predicted by the standard cosmological model, yet unrevealed to us and thus still open to debate.


What do you like and dislike about being a scientist? I love Science and thus love being a scientist. I always did and I still enjoy my job every day. The freedom I have to choose interesting projects; the excitement I feel every time we start working on something new or every time we find something unexpected; the beauty of solving (either minor or major) scientific puzzles once the hard work is done... All of it is priceless. Also, being a scientist allowed me to travel all over the globe and meet other cultures and lots of interesting people. Probably the only thing I dislike about this profession is not having enough time to enjoy the details as much as I should. Indeed, I believe that the pressing need to publish works at a high rate makes the scientist's life not as enjoyable as it could/should be, especially for young people. It is also easy to fall into a swirl of crazy work at all times, hurting you and your loved ones in the process. I always find it difficult to meet the right balance between work and anything else.


Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful? My background as an astrophysicist/cosmologist turned out to be particularly useful to build bridges between this discipline and the field of astroparticle physics, where I carry out my dark matter research. Being in between these two fields always helped me to find new avenues for further research, not obvious for others. Also, I believe I am good at connecting and coordinating people, efforts and tasks.

In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about? I was very excited when I became a member of the Fermi-LAT Collaboration in 2011 when I was a postdoc at KIPAC/SLAC, Stanford. Back then, many of us started to understand the great capabilities of the LAT in the search for dark matter via gamma rays. We performed the first LAT data analyses of the best astrophysical targets for our dark matter search, such as dwarf galaxies, the Galactic center, galaxy clusters, the extragalactic gamma-ray background... It was all 'terra incognita' and we all had lots of fun in Stanford, the epicenter of Fermi-LAT science in the world. I was also particularly excited around 2013-14 when I first realized of an important property of the inner structure of low-mass dark matter subhalos that people had not noticed before. I enjoyed every step in its understanding and characterization, as well as the corresponding dissemination of results.


What new skills would you like to learn in the next year? I would like to have a further insight on machine learning techniques that I could use for my and my group's research. I'd also like to acquire a more solid background on statistical issues relevant to my field of research.


What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to? I am still optimistic that we will soon discover the nature of dark matter and that gamma rays will play a major role in this discovery. I am also looking forward to definitely provide support to the standard cosmological model via the discovery of low-mass, dark galactic subhalos.

What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?

What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe? In my view, EuCAPT possesses a great potential to connect members in our community with similar research interests or common needs, to strenghten the links between the different groups and to canalize and coordinate big research efforts whenever needed. In this context, EuCAPT can be particularly helpful for young people as well.


What’s your favorite food? I love^2 Spanish ham ;-)


Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising? I lived in the US for 3 years and in Sweden for 5 years. Not only me but also my wife and kids had a lot of fun in both countries. Such a great people, such a great wilderness. We never stopped exploring them. Thus, fortunately, I have hundreds of 'golden' memories to share!


How do you like to relax after a hard day of work? Nothing like enjoying a glass of good Spanish red wine and good music at the sunset with my wife.


Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share? I have many! I love birdwatching. I am absolutely mad about soccer. I love music (rock, jazz). I also enjoy reading (mostly history) books. My family's passion is to travel.


If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing? I can't imagine it but I guess I'd be reading and writing about History.


What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years? The discovery of the nature of the dark matter particle.



  • Andrew Taylor

Dear All,


Continuing our regular EuCAPT newsletters, this is our May issue.

The newsletter aim here is to keep you informed of recent/upcoming

theoretical astroparticle physics related developments, with focus on Europe.


General EuCAPT News:

A successful inaugural EuCAPT symposium!:

https://home.cern/news/news/physics/connecting-smallest-and-largest-scales

EuCAPT white paper: https://www.eucapt.org/white-paper (preparatory activities for this presently taking place in EuCAPT mattermost channel) Recent Press Releases: The discovery by LHAASO of the first PeV gamma-ray sources in the Galaxy: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03498-z


Upcoming Events/Conferences/Workshops:

The EuCAPT webpage provides an up-to-date list of upcoming astroparticle

physics events: https://www.eucapt.org/events

Please note in particular the upcoming meetings:

https://www.cosmologyfromhome.com/registration (5-16 July, abstract submission by 25th May)

https://icrc2021.desy.de/ (12-23 July, ICRC, Germany)

https://www.eps-hep2021.eu/ (26-30 July 2021, EPS-HEP Conference)

https://congresos.adeituv.es/TAUP2021 (30 Aug- 3 Sep 2021, TAUP2021)


Upcoming Seminars Calendar:

A list of virtual meetings are provided on our calendar:

https://www.eucapt.org/virtual-meetings


2021 Summer Schools:

ISAPP 2021, Gamma Rays + Dark Matter, Madrid (20-29 Jun):

https://workshops.ift.uam-csic.es/isapp2020madrid

NBIA International PhD Summer School on Neutrinos, Copenhagen (5-9 Jul):

http://www.nbia.dk/neutrino2021

ISAPP 2021, Neutrino Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology, Valencia (22-30 Jul):

https://isapp2020vlc.astroparticles.es/

Les Houches Summer School on Dark Matter (26 Jul- 20 Aug):

https://indico.cern.ch/e/LHDM2021

International Neutrino Summer School, CERN (2-13 Aug):

https://indico.cern.ch/e/inss2021


Training Possibilties

If you wish to post information about training opportunities for students or young

researchers (summer and winter schools, PhD or postdoctoral openings, etc), please

send us an email with the relevant information to the address eucapt.info@gmail.com

(with “training” in the subject).


Discussion Forum

We invite you to join our EuCAPT discussion forum on mattermost:

https://mattermost.web.cern.ch/signup_user_complete/?id=6yahxjphjfrizczk1dwcprqnje

This has been set up to facilitate open discussion within our EuCAPT community.


Job Opportunities:

Our mattermost channel provides a list of job advertisements:

https://mattermost.web.cern.ch/eucapt/channels/job-ads


To facilitate information flow around our community, please feel to contact us with any information that you feel maybe suitable for circulation in future newsletters (eucapt.info@gmail.com). In particular, we encourage the community to indicate to us upcoming conferences and events which they would like us to advertise.


All the best,

Andrew (on behalf of the EuCAPT SC)

  • Nikolina Šarčević

Name: Deanna C. Hooper Current position: Postdoc


Affiliation: Université Libre de Bruxelles


Field of research: Early Universe Cosmology



What is your career trajectory to date?

I did a Bachelor's degree in Physics (with a mention in Fundamental Physics) at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), graduating in 2014. After that I did a Master's Degree in Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany), graduating in 2016, and I wrapped up my studies with a PhD in Cosmology also at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany), defending in 2019. After completing my PhD in 2019 I started my first postdoc position at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).


What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

The biggest and most fun question for me is the nature of Dark Matter; we have so many ideas for Dark Matter, and we are gradually developing ways of testing these ideas. I also think the Hubble tension is one of the biggest mysteries currently. And of course the question of what we are going to learn with gravitational waves.


What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

I like the feeling of discovery and of constantly learning new things. On the other hand, sometimes you can be stuck on a problem or calculation for ages, and that's rather frustrating, but when you manage to solve it, it's very rewarding.


Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

I'm proud of my outreach skills: helping people without a background in science understand complicated scientific ideas is extremely fun. I think the most useful skill nowadays is some level of coding and numerics.


In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?

There's been a lot of moments that have gotten me excited, but my favourite was on the 11th February 2016, when the first gravitational wave detection was announced. It really felt like we were entering a whole new era for cosmology.


What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?

I would like to improve my coding skills, and learn how to apply these skills to study early universe processes such as primordial gravitational waves.


What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to the next generation of experiments: both CMB missions like CMB-S4 and gravitational wave mission like LISA have the potential to really help us address some of the biggest questions in the field.


What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?

In short-term scales, probably the on-going pandemic. So many conferences and networking opportunities have been canceled, which has reduced the overall amount of new collaborations. Additionally, almost everyone is dealing with some level of anxiety, stress, or fatigue because of the last year, and many scientists have additional family responsibilities or concerns that make usual work very difficult.


What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?

Such a network can help people come together and find possible collaborations. Especially for early career researches who might not have established connections, it is important to have an easy way to find other people who work on similar topics.


What’s your favorite food?

I have a sweet tooth, so pretty much anything covered in chocolate. Chocolate caramel brownies are always a good choice.


Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising?

I've lived in a couple of countries, and they all have their special charm. I have very fond memories of the quirky individual town celebrations in Catalunya, with all the community coming together and dancing and singing.


How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?

Usually with a good sci-fi show or film. Or baking something sweet.


Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?

I love all kinds of puzzles, and I do enjoy doing origami a lot.


If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

I'd probably be working for a non-profit helping animals.


What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?

I hope we can create a more diverse and inclusive scientific community, which fosters collaboration and values people's wellbeing. I would also like to see a revolution in the scientific job market, potentially offering early career scientists better job security.


What question would you have liked us to ask you, and what would you have responded?

I would have liked to be asked "If you feel comfortable disclosing them, what are your pronouns?", and my answer would have been she/her.