Mario is a support scientist for the WFC3 team, where he focuses on characterizing persistence in the IR channel. His broad areas of scientific interest are stellar evolution and resolved stellar populations. The question that mostly puzzles him these days is: what is the outcome of the star formation process, in terms of stellar mass distribution? (Rephrased: what is the stellar Initial Mass Function?). He tries to answer this by using data (mostly HST, maybe one day JWST and WFIRST) on nearby stellar clusters (in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds), Galactic populations (the Bulge), and extra-galactic resolved populations (SMC, LMC, Ultra-faint dwarf Milky Way Satellites). Mario is also involved in building new instrumentation (SAMOS, a Digital-Micromirror-Device-based multi-object spectrograph to be soon mounted at the SOAR telescope), and has a soft spot for Bayesian analysis.
- The initial mass function in nearby systems
- Star formation histories of nearby galaxies
- Dynamical evolution of young star clusters
- Testing stellar models using pre-main sequence binaries
- Developing instrumentation based on new technologies (DMD-based multi-object spectrograph)
Research Topics: Resolved Stellar Populations, Stellar Evolution, Bayesian Analysis, Instrumentation