Community Profile: Francesca Calore

Name: Francesca Calore

Current position: Faculty

Affiliation: Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique (LAPTh, CNRS)

Field of research: Astroparticle and Theoretical Physics


What is your career trajectory to date?

After an MSc degree in Theoretical Physics at the University of Turin in October 2010, I moved to Hamburg for my PhD studies where I obtained a joint PhD with the University of Turin. I then worked for 3 years as postdoctoral fellow in GRAPPA, at the University of Amsterdam, in the group of G. Bertone. In October 2016, I was hired as CNRS researcher and I work since then in the astroparticle and cosmology group of the Laboratoire d’Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique (LAPTh), in Annecy.

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

Surely, what is the nature of dark matter is THE question in my research area. Nonetheless, many exciting open questions, related to the astrophysics of our Galaxy, are of relevance for my research. As an example, what is the origin of some longstanding excesses in gamma-ray astrophysics, from the 511 keV line to the Fermi Galactic Center GeV excess.

What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

As a theoretical (astro)physicist, I very much enjoy the freedom to choose what I really like to work on, and being able to explore new lines of research without (almost) no constraint. What I disliked the most, while being a postdoc, was the difficulty to feel at home in a place where you know you would have only spent a couple of years, three at most.

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

I was very excited about the first gravitational wave event detection and impressed by the type of measurement performed by the GW interferometers.

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

Besides the discovery of the dark matter particle nature, I really look forward to the discovery of the stochastic gravitational wave background whose nature and properties may shed light onto fundamental physics.

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

EuCAPT can be crucial in federating the theory community around common objectives and affirming its role within the European scientific community.

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?

Besides France (and Italy), I lived in Hamburg and Amsterdam. I loved both cities very much, but I especially enjoyed living in Amsterdam and bike everywhere, under all weather conditions. Given that I am not a very sporty soul, it was extremely surprising to find myself biking effortless under the rain and snow.

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

Relax is a word than comes in very late in my daily routine. After the kids are finally asleep and if weather allows us, my husband and I sit down on our balcony and chat quietly sharing our day.

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

I love animals but I don’t have the stomach to be a vet, so probably a biologist… which is again a scientist!

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

Do you feel privileged being a scientist? And I would have answered: Yes, I do.