I'm Catarina Alves de Oliveira and I work as Instrument and Calibration Scientist at the European Space Agency. I am currently working on NIRSpec, one of the instruments for the James Webb Space Telescope. My research focuses on the formation of stars in our Galaxy. I combine several observational techniques across the spectrum to characterize both the stellar population and large-scale filamentary structure of nearby star forming regions. My findings aim at constraining star formation theories and understanding the evolution of young stars.
I was born in Portugal but have been jumping countries for the past decade for my education and research jobs. I have lived in Ireland, UK, France, South Africa, Germany, Spain, and since April 2015 I live in Baltimore, USA. Although the moving is not always smooth, I love speaking different languages and I adapt easily to other cultures. I also get to travel regularly for work, which gives me a unique chance to visit other countries and observatory sites. Those are always very special places!
I am passionate about music and cinema. I have a classical music formation in violin, and have joined several orchestras since finishing the conservatory studies. I also listen to other music styles and I'm an avid cinema consumer.
Sports is another favourite activity, in the last couple of years I started snowboarding and surfing. I'm not good at either, but I've been a fan since I was little and decided it was not too late to get started. I love the amount of commitment and concentration both sports demand, it makes me forget about everything else. And the feeling of riding a first wave or sliding down a slope is just unbeatable!