The Beginning!

After going through the process of applying for a PhD, passing the interview and waiting for the final answer, in March of 2016, I received an email from Dr. Rene Oudmaijer offering me the place to be part of the STARRY project. This was a wonderful surprise and the start of a change of life. I had to rush in finish my Masters degree in June 2016 and begin with all the documentation I needed to live in the UK.  Because nothing is perfect, the documentation process was very slow and with a lot of problems which delayed my arrival at Leeds from September 2016 to January 2017.  Finally, on 6th of January, I arrived in Leeds to start the first part of my PhD at the University of Leeds. My journey to Leeds was quite surprising. First of all, the airline lost one of my suitcases during the connecting flight; and secondly, the change in the weather. However, I had a very unexpected welcome; first, at the airport from my supervisor and second, on my first day in the University from the other PhD student and staff of the School of Physics and Astronomy.

In this short time, I am trying to develop the basic knowledge for my project and this project aim to estimate the nature of clusters around Herbig Ae/Be. This work will be elaborated with data from GAIA (

This PhD has been a big challenge, in a new country and in a different language… but it is just the beginning…

Halfway through my first stage at Leeds

We are in the middle of February and the moment to go to Madrid for the second part of the project is getting closer. This proximity is making me realize that time flies in a project of this dimension. It seems that it was yesterday when Rene was explaining me for the first time the aims of the project. These last months have been quite productive resulting in an exponential growth of the ideas we have. I hope that before the time to go to Madrid comes all the project related ideas we have now will be well defined and polished, so we will be able to extract the best out of them in Madrid.
In a closer future, we are preparing ourselves for the First Gaia Science Symposium in Nice at the end of April and the work we are going to present there. I am very excited about that trip as it is the first opportunity for me to present my work in this project to the community. It will be very useful to see how other groups are using the Gaia DR1 data and how they are planning to use Gaia DR2 data. The huge amount of data Gaia is going to provide make the catalogue extremely polyvalent and hence it will be very useful to know other groups and ideas.
Alice Perez has now joined the project at the beginning of January and she is already fully integrated in the Leeds Astronomy department.  With her here the STARRY project has finally completely started and we all will see how this results in an improvement in our work.