The Team Leader

THE PI SHORT HISTORY: Francesco R. Ferraro was first intrigued by Astronomy as a child. He was born in 1961 in a small town (Corsano, near Lecce) on the beautiful sea of Puglia, but he mostly grew up in Matera, a small city in south of Italy, in the so-called "Magna Grecia'' area, a region full of ancient history of the Greek colonization. Naturally his initial main interest was Archeology. While he was collaborating with an amateur Archeologist group, there was an amateur astronomy group working next door to the Archeologists. The curiosity which led him to look in at next door's meetings was fatal: after many years of freezing nights spent following luminosity variability of nearby variable stars, he started to study Astronomy at the Bologna University where he earned a PhD degree in Astronomy.

After a Post-Doc in Germany (at the European Southern Observatory) he was researcher at the Bologna Observatory and he is now full professor at the Physics and Astronomy Department of the Bologna University. From 2006 to 2012 he was Chair of the Professor board (Presidente di Corso di Laurea) for the first-level degree in Astronomy and the second-level degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology. Since 2016 he is coordinatot of the PhD in Astrophysics at the Bologna University. In 2018 he has been awarded the international prize “Prof. Luigi Tartufari” for astronomy, by the Accademia dei Lincei.

His astronomical work is based on observations made with telescope on the Earth (mainly European Telescopes in Chile) and in space (Hubble Space Telescope). He is author of more than 500 scientific papers (more than 250 in refereed international journals).

Ferraro's principal field of investigation is the study of stellar evolution and stellar populations in old stellar systems. Thus at the end he has finally succeeded in reconciling both his passions, indulging in an Astro-Archeology approach to the problem of the formation and the evolution of our Galaxy, via the systematic study of the oldest known fossils of that remote epoch: the Galactic Globular Clusters. Since his initial hobby became his vocation, he has turned his interest toward figurative art and currently enjoys painting.

Francesco Ferraro

Full professor of Stellar Astrophysics at the Physics and Astronomy Department “Augusto Righi” of the Bologna University (Italy) and P.I. of the Cosmic-Lab project.