Community Profile: Martina Cardillo

Name: Martina Cardillo

Current position: Faculty

Affiliation: INAF-IAPS

Field of research: High energy astrophysics, Gamma-ray astronomy, Cosmic Rays, Particle Acceleration


What is your career trajectory to date?

Master Degree in Astrophysics, summa cum laude, 2010,

Università di Roma Tor Vergata - PhD in AStronomy, 2013,

Università di Roma Tor Vergata - Postdoc at INAF-Osservatorio AStrofisico di Arcetri in Florence (2014-2017),

Postdoc at INAF-IAPS in Rome (2017-2021),

Permanent position at INAF-IAPS (2021-present).

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

What is the origin of Cosmic Rays? Which sources can accelerate particlese above PeV energies and through which mechanisms?

What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

Like: learning something new every day, continuous evolution of my field, have the tools to teach the universe to other people, internationality and knowledge exchange all over the world.

Dislike: sedentary work, too much politics and burocracy affect the projects, too much arrogance due to the fact to be scientists.

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

Organisation and planning skills, multi-tasking, take my responsibilities, punctuality, respect, communication skill (outreach and teaching).

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

After my master thesis, during my PhD because I contributed to one of the most important discovery about Cosmic Rays with the data analysis of the AGILE satellite (all Italian mission). And now because I'm strongly involved in the ASTRI Mini-Array project (again, an Italian project with leadership INAF), an array of 9 telescopes for the very high energy gamma-ray astronomy.

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

I'd like to learn about Machine Learning applied in my field, improve my programming skills, have the chance to direct my own project.

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

In my field: The ASTRI Mini-Array results and its contribute about what we know about PeVatrons and particle acceleration.

In general: the ARTEMIS mission and our return to the moon, commercial space flights, the chance to go to Mars.

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

In general, politics and burocracy are big problems in Science. Then there are problems due to poor coordination within the team and understaffing (a very big problem in Italy even because some new regulations).

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

I think that network and a constant updating between scientists is fundamental and EuCAPT can be a good tool to do this. The hope is that the great part of Scientist enjoy the community and I think that will be very important to involve young scientists (PhD, postdoc and so on).

What’s your favorite food?

Every kind of food! Sweet or salty! Especially the Italian, obviously. I like eating :D!

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?

Nope. I lived 1 month in Germany, Heidelberg but it is too short period to say something about the life there.

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

Reading, writing, playing the piano, doing sport (running with a podcast in my ears), listening music and, if possible, dancing!

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

I like a lot of things: I'm an amatorial theatral actress, I wrote a book ("Col sorriso negli occhi"), I write poetry in Italian and Roman dialect, I play the piano (and a little the guitar), I read a lot and I love walking in Rome and traveling everywhere.

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

Probably a doctor (cardiac surgeon or neurosurgeon).

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

Rights equality, gender equality, renewed love and trust for culture and science, common consciousness and solution for global problems.