Dr. Ana Alonso-Serrano

Long-term visitor at AEI Potsdam


What is your current position at our institute?

After finishing my postdoctoral position at the institute and starting a new postdoctoral position at the HU in Berlin, I am currently a long-term visitor at the AEI.

What is your academic education?

  • Bachelor in Physics at Complutense University of Madrid
  • Master in Fundamental Physics at Complutense University of Madrid
  • PhD in Physics at CSIC in Madrid

What were your previous academic positions?

  • Postdoc at Victoria University of Wellington
  • Postdoc at Charles University of Prague
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at AEI

How and when did you choose to do physics?

I really decided last minute when choosing a university! I really liked maths and read a lot about physics, which was my main motivation for studying it, but other areas also were very interesting to me, making a decision like this difficult.

Did you have someone who acted as a role model or mentor to you in the past, or does so in the present? What is the most important thing you learned from them?

Yes, I have, and I think that even if you don't always follow their advice or consult them often, having someone in that role makes all the difference when you're making decisions about your career prospects or long-term goals.

What is your vision for women and girls in science in 20 years?

I hope at that point there will not be need to point out the situation because we have reached full equity.

What measures that target women and girls in science would you care about and/or would you like to see realized in the scientific community?

It's hard to choose particular measures because I consider that an issue that needs to be addressed on a global scale. In any case, I think there should be more measures that take care of family support, reducing possible biases in evaluation processes and having an effective protocol of support when there are complaints about a situation of discrimination. In the longer term, I care about measures more focused into education in equity, at all different levels. Of course, all these issues I consider to be more general than targeting only women.

Can you please describe your research in general terms?

I have worked in several aspects at the interface of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Nowadays, I am focused on the study the quantum behaviour of spacetime close to the classical singularities and phenomenology of quantum gravity.

Do you have a favourite figure from a paper you (co-)authored?

I particularly like this figure because despite of its simplicity, it allowed us to show in the publication “Entropy/information flux in Hawking radiation” a possible solution to a long posed paradox, changing the paradigm of how the information is emitted in black hole evaporation

Please let us know why you chose the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics for your research.

I was very interested in the work conducted by the people in the division. Moreover, this Institute gives you the possibility of interacting with a lot of researches from other fields. Then, it provides a perfect atmosphere to develop your project.

What would you recommend to a young woman wanting to start a career in physics?

I would recommend her to pursue what she really wants and fight for it (there will be times when you want to give up). Also, the possible career paths are not clear when you start studying physics and that should not scare you because they will be clearer when you need to decide.

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