Santiago Ismael Ferrero creates mocks of cosmological data

"Create realistic mocks of what the telescope will observe is crucial for a correct analysis of the data. That is the biggest challenge." 

Dr. Santiago Ismael Ferrero is a new member of the cosmology and extragalactic group at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA). He graduated in astronomy and completed his PhD at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina.

Image may contain: Snow, Ski Equipment, Winter, Ski, Ski pole.
Santiago Ismael Ferrero, postdoctoral fellow at Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, UiO. Photo: private.

– My PhD research focused on the properties of the disk and dwarf galaxies, in particular their kinematics and dark matter content using both, numerical simulations and observations, Ismael explains.

– Since the beginning of my first postdoc at the Institute of Space Sciences, in Spain, I started to work on more cosmological, large-scale research topics, he adds.

A good match for ITA's cosmology and extragalactic group.

During his first postdoc fellowship, Ismael became actively involved in three big collaborations: The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), Euclid and The Dark Energy Survey (DES). Thanks to the experience gained in the Euclid project, Ismael could easily fit in the Norwegian participation of the Euclid Consortium, with base at ITA. 

– Most of my current research is related to cosmology. However, given my background in Galaxy formation and evolution, I also work on projects linked to extragalactic astronomy, he comments.

Preparing for the launch of Euclid.

Image may contain: Space, Font, Sky, Stock photography, Graphics.
Artistic illustration of the Euclid satellite. Credit: ESA - C. Carreau

In view of the soon launch of the Euclid space telescope, Ismael is currently busy in preparing for the data which will uncover the nature of the dark matter and dark energy.

–  My work consists in improving the Flagship mock, which allows to mimic what the telescope will observe. This is crucial for a correct analysis of the data. The more realistic the mock is, the higher the accuracy of the results obtained from the data, Ismael explains.

– What are your working tools?

– The way to do it include many tools. I need observations in order to calibrate the mock, I need simulation like Flagship (the largest cosmological simulation done so far) as an input for the galaxy catalogue, and also I need new codes that make statistical analysis of a huge volume of data faster and with better accuracy.

A careful decision, with no regrets.

Image may contain: People, Community, Youth, Selfie, Photography.
Ismael and his family ready to move from Spain to Norway. Image: private.

Ismael moved from Barcelona, Spain, to Oslo with his family: his wife and his two daughters.

– At the beginning we were afraid about the weather, the darkness and the language. But then, with time, we felt more excited and fearless, he adds smiling.

– Any regrets?

– One of the things I most miss from Barcelona is Football. I am from Argentina, I love Messi and I went many times to see Barcelona’s match.

– What's your experience at ITA so far?

– The atmosphere is very warm, the people are very friendly and the scientific level is very high.

– Any expectations?

– I expect that the experience be a magical adventure. I am quite sure that working at ITA will be really rewarding and very good for my professional career. About Norway, It makes me sad to think that in 3 years I will have to leave this country, one of the best countries in the world to raise kids.

Published Aug. 7, 2020 11:52 AM - Last modified Aug. 7, 2020 11:52 AM