Name: Valentina De Romeri
Current position: Postdoc
Affiliation: IFIC (CSIC/Universitat de València)
Field of research: Theoretical astroparticle physics
What is your career trajectory to date?
I got my Physics Bachelor (2008) and Master (2010) degrees from the University of Torino (Italy). In 2010 I joined the Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC UV/CSIC) in Valencia as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR), within the European Marie Curie "UNILHC" network. I got my PhD from the University of Valencia in co-tutorship with the University of Torino in December 2013. Right afterwards, I was granted with a senior ESR contract by CNRS within the European Marie Curie "INVISIBLES" network. I spent the corresponding two years (2013-2015, equivalent to a postdoctoral appointment) at the Laboratoire de Physique de Clermont-Ferrand, France. Then I spent one year as a postdoc at the Instituto de Física Teórica UAM/CSIC in Madrid. Since 2017 I joined back the IFIC UV/CSIC in Valencia as a postdoctoral researcher.
What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?
Surely there are many exciting open questions, in the fields of dark matter and neutrino physics. Some of them, of particular relevance to me, are: - what is the nature of dark matter? - are neutrinos Dirac or Majorana particles? - what is the mechanism responsible for the generation of neutrino masses? - is there a violation of CP symmetry in the leptonic sector? - is there new physics beyond the Standard Model and what is the theoretical model describing it? [...]
What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?
I enjoy the everyday challenges posed by our job, and the fact that you can never get bored, as we are trying to address exciting questions about the Universe. I also appreciate the flexibility of being a theoretical physicist, that allows me to decide which problems to tackle and when to do it.
I do not like the lack of job security, the pressure and stress that are often experienced, and the extreme competitiveness.
What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?
I would like to improve both my coding and communication skills.
What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?
The observation of the CEvNS process at COHERENT has opened a whole new window on both precision tests of the Standard Model, and for testing new physics scenarios. I am looking forward to the observation of this process also at reactor experiments. Moreover, I am awaiting new exciting results from neutrino oscillation experiments, addressing the remaining neutrino unknowns. Finally, concerning dark matter, I am looking forward to new promising signals from the sky and at laboratories which can help us shedding light on its nature.
What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?
Bureaucracy. It steals a lot of precious time, and energy.
What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?
I think EuCAPT can help setting the basis and the path for the next-years research in the field of astroparticle physics. It is a good opportunity to create a strong European network, to enhance collaborations and to promote a collaborative environment.
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 Spain (Valencia and Madrid), I have lived in Italy (Savona, where I was born, and Torino) and in France (Clermont-Ferrand). I like Mediterranean countries, and although they are all different, they also share some common features (culture, climate, food) which are important to me.
How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?
I like sports: I usually do aerial acrobatics and dance, but when this is not possible I run (or swim). I also enjoy hanging out with friends.
Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?
When I am not doing physics, I practice circus acrobatics. I mostly train aerial silks and aerial lyra, but I also enjoy training flexibility, contortions and handstands. As to dance, I do modern/lyrical jazz, and I also did ballet for few years. I also love traveling and visiting new countries.
What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?
I hope we will be able to answer some of the open questions previously mentioned, in particular: - what is the nature of dark matter? - what is the nature of neutrinos? and what is their mass mechanism?