Name: Judit Pérez Romero
Current position: PhD
Affiliation: IFT UAM-CSIC
Field of research: Dark matter distribution and indirect searches
What is your career trajectory to date?
I finished my B.Sc. in Physics in 2016 at Universidad de Valencia. Since then, I've been in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) & Insitituto de Física Teórica (IFT), first as a master student (2017) and now as a last year PhD candidate.
What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?
What is dark matter made of? How can we interact with it? How does dark matter shape the structures that we see today? Is the standard cosmological model complete?
What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?
There is something very fulfilling in doing something that you love, it makes every new result a big achievement, personally. We are also able to make science outreach and teach, two of the most heartwarming tasks as a scientist if you ask me.
On the other side, the academia can be very stressing, it's very stratified and competitive, so it's really important to take care of our mental health. Also, as a woman, probably one faces the "standard" biases and we need to show that we can overcome them.
Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?
Some very useful skills I acquired during my PhD years are flexibility and open-mindness, you need to be creative to solve problems and you need to adapt to them also!
What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?
I'd love to learn more about machine learning techniques and how to apply them to find dark matter.
What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?
Of course I'm always waiting for a hint of dark matter! I'm also very exited about the implications of new detections of gravitational waves for the standard cosmological model.
What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?
The investment governments give to science is really low, both for new telescopes and detectors and also to obtain stable faculty positions.
What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?
Being able to be in contact with so many scientist of our field encourages the creation of new ideas and new developments and it also reinforces the idea that science is collaborative, we have much more to learn if we are willing to collaborate!
What’s your favorite food?
As a valencian, I really love a good paella :)
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?
If you visit Paris and you like art, don't ever miss the oportunity to visit Musée d'Orsay!
How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?
Since I was little, dancing has been the easiest and most pleasing way to reconnect with myself. Also being at home with my cats is one of my greatest pleasures.
Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?
I also love to play videogames, specially Pokemon!
If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?
Probably I will be at a greek island taking care of a cat sanctuary.
What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?
Being able to live the first clear detection of dark matter will be life-changing for me.