Catarina Alves de Oliveira


Catarina Alves de Oliveira joined the European Space Agency in 2011, and currently holds the position of Instrument Scientist for the NIRSpec instrument onboard JWST. She is based at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore (MD). Her technical field of expertise is infrared spectroscopy on ground and space instrumentation. She is also an active researcher in the field of star formation.

Catarina first obtained a degree in Physics/Applied Maths from the University of Porto (Portugal, 2014), followed by an M.Sc. in Space Studies at the International Space University (France, 2005). She went on to join the International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics for her PhD work where she was hosted at the European Southern Observatory (Munich, Germany, 2005-2008). Catarina was awarded her PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich in 2008. While at ESO, she gained observing experience with several IR spectrographs and worked on the development and commissioning of HAWK-I at the VLT. She continued her research with a Marie Curie fellowship at the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, after which she was awarded an ESA fellowship to work on the just launched Herschel mission. She became a staff member in 2012 and has since been working on NIRSpec/JWST, where she is in charge of the instrument and science data calibration, while also supporting ground test campaigns and preparation for commissioning and operations.


PhD in Astronomy, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany
M.Sc. in Space Studies, International Space University, Strasbourg, France
Physics & Applied Maths degree, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Portugal


Science Interests:

  • Discovery and characterization of stellar and substellar members in nearby star-forming regions
  • Derivation of the IMF in nearby clusters down to the low-mass cut-off
  • Detection and modelling of circumstellar disks around brown dwarfs
  • Spectroscopy of atmospheres of Y dwarfs
  • Calibration techniques for spectrographs


Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution; Star Clusters; Instrumentation


Professional Websites:

Professional Website


ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2896-4138

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