Originally from Venice (Italy) Licia Verde studied physics as an undergraduate at the Università degli Studi di Padova. She obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh (UK) sponsored by a Marie Curie grant from the EU, and then moved to a research assistant position at Princeton University and at Rutgers University (USA). At Princeton she held a Chandra postdoctoral fellowship and a Spitzer postdoctoral fellowship and she entered the WMAP science team. She spent 4 years as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). In September 2007, she moved to Barcelona as an ICREA Research Professor. Verde has received the 2012 Gruber prize in Cosmology, the Narcis Monturiol medal 2017, the 2018 Breakthrough prize in fundamental physics, the premi Nacional de Recerca 2018, and the European Astroniomical Society Lodewijk Woltjier Lecture 2019.
I am interested in Cosmology, which is the study of the origin, evolution and composition of the universe. One of the recent discoveries in cosmology is that more than 70% of what makes up the universe is not even matter, but something that suggests that some energy is associated with the nothingness of vacuum: "dark energy". Dark energy may as well be one of the major problems in physics today and is motivating a host of future and planned experiments. I study the "large-scale distribution of galaxies", their statistical properties and how the emerge and evolve from the Universe's initial conditions, which can be gleaned from the statistical properties of the heat left over from the big bang. These observations are used to shed light on the Universe composition, including the dark energy component, the Universe's history and evolution and ultimately the physics governing it.