My broad interest is learning the properties of compact objects (black holes and neutron stars), such as the distribution of their masses and spins, and the mechanisms responsible for their formation. An effective way to study such objects is to witness their mergers with as many instruments as possible, because a variety of electromagnetic and gravitational signals can be emitted depending on the nature and properties of the merging objects. To this end, I am involved in a number of activities concerning the analysis of present and future data from various ground-based and space-based observatories.
A robust signature of a compact binary merger is its characteristic gravitational-wave signal. I thus dedicate a large fraction of my research to analyze the data from the LIGO and Virgo observatories in order to detect gravitational waves from the inspiral and merger of black holes and neutron stars. In particular, I contribute to the development and operation of a search based on the PyCBC software.
Mergers involving neutron stars can produce various electromagnetic emissions. A prompt gamma-ray burst is one of the most expected outcomes. I collaborate with the Fermi/GBM team to search for and study gamma-ray bursts associated with gravitational-wave candidates from LIGO and Virgo. Combining the data from the gravitational-wave and gamma-ray detections provides more information on the nature of the merging objects and can reduce the uncertainty on their sky localization, which in turn can help narrow-field telescopes discover electromagnetic emissions in other wavelengths from the same events.
The future LISA mission will enable the observation of gravitational waves at frequencies which are currently not accessible. This will permit the observation of a different population of merging black holes and may also provide more detailed information about the black hole population we are observing today. Hence I am interested in developing techniques to analyze future LISA data, an open and challenging problem, as well as strategies to perform joint observations with LISA and high-energy electromagnetic telescopes.
Here are links to my publications: from Spires, and from the ADS database.
My interest in gravitational waves started in the mid-2000s, during my undergrad at the University of Padova, with a project related to the analysis of data from the AURIGA gravitational-wave detector. In 2012 I joined Bruce Allen's division at AEI Hannover as a PhD student, where I contributed to the development of the PyCBC software and to the search plans for compact binary mergers in data from Advanced LIGO's first observing run. After the detection of the first binary black hole mergers, in 2016 I moved to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a postdoctoral fellow, where I contributed to the analysis of Advanced LIGO and Virgo's second observing run, I developed my interest in electromagnetic counterparts to compact binary mergers and started collaborating with the Fermi/GBM team and working on LISA-related activities. In 2019 I joined Alessandra Buonanno's division at AEI Potsdam.