(INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico
I was born in the nice city
of Padova, Italy. There, besides many artistic treasures,
including the Giotto frescoes with (perhaps) the
first realistic reproduction of a comet,
you can find one of the most ancient Italian Universities,
dating back to the 13th century.
I started astronomy almost
by chance: what I really was interested into was
SCIENCE, and a friend of mine made me notice that
astronomy sounded like a fascinating application
of both math and physics. I soon discovered that
it is indeed, and I really feel privileged to be
allowed to call 'work' what is mainly an intellectual
game, so pleasing to absorb quite a large fraction
of the everyday time.
Towards the end of my university
course of studies I was engaged into the stellar
evolution theory, courtesy of the university professor
who was teaching the subject with great skill and
dedication. The mere idea that stars went through
a life cycle was very fascinating to me, as well
as the fact that we could model this cycle and meet
the main observational constraints.
I got my university degree
in Padova in 1979, then studied and worked at the
SISSA school in Trieste, and in 1983 I became a
researcher at the Astronomy Department in Bologna.
Currently I am associate astronomer at the Observatory
of Padova. In the last 7 years I have often been
a guest of the Observatory of Munich, to collaborate
with researchers of Prof. Ralf Bender's group on
galaxy formation and evolution.
Since my university degree
in 1979 I've been working on the many applications
of the stellar evolution theory to galaxies, but
I basically recognize myself as an expert in stellar
interiors and evolution. My interests include the
study of the resolved stellar populations as well
as the study of the integrated light from stellar
Using HST has meant a lot
of interesting work for me. In particular, it gave
me the possibility to extend to distant galaxies
the kind of work I was doing on nearby systems,
that is interpreting the color-magnitude diagrams
in terms of star formation history.