Licia Verde is a cosmologist who works as an ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Oslo, in Norway. Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole, its origin, composition, and evolution. Verde’s research aims to connect cosmology and fundamental physics with astronomical observations.
As a Radcliffe fellow, Verde is addressing open questions in cosmology that point toward physics beyond the Standard Model. In cosmology an ambitious experimental effort is under way, driven by the desire of answering questions such as: What makes up the (invisible) 96 percent of the universe? What is dark matter? What is the dark energy that pushes galaxies apart at an accelerated rate? A big theoretical and data interpretation effort is required. Verde is tackling this challenge by constructing analytical tools for and approaches to learning more about the physical mechanisms that drive the evolution of the universe, and by exploring the nature of the different components of the universe through the study of their signatures on the large-scale distribution of matter and galaxies.
Verde’s work has received more than 40,000 citations and an h-index of 59, both according to Google Scholar, and has been recognized by such international awards as the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize and a grant from the European Research Council. She is a highly sought-after speaker invited to more than 100 talks. Verde earned her PhD from the University of Edinburgh.