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The High-Energy Research on Obscuration and Emission 
in Supermassive black holes (HEROES) team



Yaherlyn Diaz (PhD Universidad de Valparaiso, 2022)

Yaher is a Fondecyt fellow, working with my group since October 2022. During her PhD she worked on understanding the properties of nearby low-luminosity AGN in the X-ray band. The work of her Fondecyt postdoc will be focussed on studying the infrared properties of a large sample of nearby BASS AGN.

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Arghajit Jana (PhD Indian Centre for Space Physics, 2020)

Arghajit is a Fondecyt fellow, starting with my group in September 2023. Before joining UDP he was a postdoc at National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan. His work has been focussed on the accretion properties of X-ray binaries and AGN, particularly using X-ray facilities. At UDP he will work on the multiwavelength properties of changing-look AGN.

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Alejandra Rojas (PhD Universidad Andres Bello/ESO, 2019)

Alejandra is a Fondecyt fellow, working with my group since April 2021. Alejandra has been studying the properties of outflows in BASS AGN during her PhD, and she will continue working on outflows and on the multi-wavelength properties of BASS AGN in the next years.

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Elena Shablovinskaya (PhD Special astrophysical observatory of RAS, 2021)

Elena is a postdoc on a Gemini-ANID grant, working with my group since March 2023. She is currently working on the ALMA/X-ray monitoring campaign of the nearby AGN IC4329A. Before joining UDP she worked on spectropolarimetric observations of nearby AGN, and was a permanent staff member of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS.


Matthew Temple (PhD Cambridge Univ., 2020)

Matthew is a Fondecyt fellow working with Roberto Assef and me. He first joined my group in late 2020 as an ALMA-Conicyt fellow. During his PhD worked on AGN outflows in the optical, as well as on the properties of hot dust. He is a member of the LSST and SDSSV collaborations, and he is currently working on outflows in BAL quasars and nearby AGN, with the idea of understanding the impact AGN have on their host galaxies. He is also interested in variable and changing-state AGN.

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PhD students

Giorgos Dimopoulos

Giorgos was awarded a 4-years ANID fellowship to work in my group at UDP, starting in March 2021. He obtained his master at the National Observatory of Athens (Greece), where he worked on the properties of the X-ray emitting plasma using NuSTAR observations. His work at UDP will focus on the analysis of broad-band X-ray spectra of nearby AGN.


Kristína Kallová

Kristína started a CATA-funded PhD in my group in April 2023. She obtained her master at Masaryk University (Czech Republic), where she worked on the properties of heavily obscured AGN using NuSTAR observations. Her work at UDP will focus on the analysis of the multi-wavelength properties of nearby AGN.

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Ruancun Li

Ruancun is a PhD student at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and I have been co-supervising him since 2018. He is currently working on the multi-wavelength properties of the enigmatic AGN 1ES1927+654, the first accreting supermassive black hole in which the X-ray source disappeared. With his work he is studying the evolution of the spectral energy distribution of this object after the outburst.


Jeffrey McKaig

Jeffrey is a PhD student at George Mason University, and he joined my group in mid-2020. He has been using RefleX ray-tracing simulations to model the effect of extended gas and dust on the X-ray spectra of AGN. These simulations will be extremely useful with the advent of the new generation of high-resolution X-ray spectrometers on board XRISM and Athena.


Previous members

Previous members

Kriti Kamal Gupta [2019-2023]

Kriti was a PhD student at UDP, and the first graduate of our PhD program.  During her PhD she worked on the properties of scattered X-ray radiation in obscured AGN from the BASS survey, and on the spectral energy distribution of unobscured BASS AGN. The goal of her PhD thesis was to better understand the relation between the accretion properties of supermassive black holes and those of the X-ray corona. She is now a postdoc in Belgium, on a joint position between the Universities of Liege and Ghent.


Alessia Tortosa [2019-2023]
(PhD Roma Tre, 2017)


Alessia was a Fondecyt fellow at UDP between 2019 and 2022, and she was then on a ESO-Chile comite Mixto grant. Her main interest are the accretion properties of AGN, with particular focus on the X-ray band and on the hot corona that produces the X-ray emission. At UDP she worked on the X-ray variability properties of the BASS sample, as well as on understanding the broad-band X-ray properties of nearby Super-Eddington AGN. She is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma.


Melissa Bierschenk [2020-2022]

Melissa is a PhD student at George Mason University, and she was part of my group between 2020 and 2022. She worked on the mid-IR spectroscopical properties of AGN from the BASS survey, with particular focus on the relation between mid-IR coronal lines and AGN emission. She is now working with the Solar physics group at GMU.


Taiki Kawamuro [2020-2022]
(PhD Kyoto University, 2017)


Taiki was a Fondecyt fellow, and worked with me from March 2020 to January 2022. His expertise is in X-ray and submm studies of AGN; he is a member of the MAXI team and has also been working on tidal disruption events. During his postdoc his work was focussed on compare X-ray and high-resolution submm observations of nearby AGN to understand the interplay between AGN and their host galaxies. Taiki was then awarded a Special Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at RIKEN, in Japan.


Ryan Pfeifle [2018-2022]

I was the co-supervisor of Ryan's PhD thesis, which he obtained at George Mason University in 2022. Ryan's work was focussed on obscured AGN in mergers, particularly from an X-ray perspective. He also worked on constraining, using the BASS survey, different indicators of AGN obscuration by combining X-ray and IR photometry. After his PhD Ryan was awarded a NASA postdoctoral fellowship, and he moved to NASA Goddard.


Carolina Andonie [2016-2019]

Carolina started working with me in 2016, during her bachelor at PUC, first for several summer projects, and eventually for her bachelor thesis. During her master we continued working together on a project aimed at applying a physical X-ray model for the AGN in the Circinus galaxy, created from high-resolution IR and optical observations. The paper on this work has been submitted to MNRAS in July 2021. Since November 2020 Carolina is a PhD student at Durham University.

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