Foto del docente

Marcella Brusa

Full Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics

Curriculum vitae

Education and previous positions:

Since October 2019: Associate Professor  at Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia at UNIBO, and affiliated to INAF

10/2012-10/2019: Assistant professor ("Ricercatore") at Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia at UNIBO, and affiliated to INAF

01/2011–10/2012: research associate at the Max Planck Institut fuer Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) in Garching bei Mu¨nchen (Germany), on the study of evolution of AGN and host-galaxies properties from X-ray and multiwavelength surveys, in preparation for eROSITA

04/2008–12/2010: senior post-doc fellowship at MPE on the study of evolution of AGN from large area and deep X-ray surveys; focused on the XMM-COSMOS, Chandra COSMOS and CDFS surveys

08/2004–03/2008: post-doc fellowship at MPE on the study of evolution of AGN from large area and deep X-ray surveys; focused on the XMM-COSMOS project

04/2004–07/2004: short-term research contract funded by the Italian space agency (ASI) at INAF-Osservatorio astronomico di Bologna;

01/2001-04/2004: PhD degree in Astronomy. Dissertation on “Physics and evolution of
obscured X–ray sources: a multiwavelength approach”. Thesis Advisor: Dr. A. Comastri; Faculty Supervisor: Prof. B. Marano.

10/1995-10/2000: Master Degree in Astronomy (Laurea), summa cum Laude. Dissertation on “The contribution of Active Galactic Nuclei to the far–infrared and submillimiter backgrounds”. Undergraduate research advisor: Dr. A. Comastri; Faculty advisor: Prof. B. Marano

Short term (funded) visits in international institutes:

  • June-July 2017:  five weeks visit of the Excellence Cluster Universe institute of the Technische
    Universitaet Munich (Germany; collaboration with Dr. Paola Popesso for the participation into the MIAPP 2017 "In & Out" workshop)
  • June-July 2016: five weeks visit of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Headquarters in Garching bei Muenchen (Germany; collaboration with Dr. Vincenzo Mainieri);
  • July 2015: one month visit of the Excellence Cluster Universe institute of the Technische
    Universitaet Munich (Germany; collaboration with Dr. Mara Salvato;
  •  July 2014: one month visit of the Excellence Cluster Universe institute of the Technische
    Universitaet Munich (Germany; collaboration with Dr. Paola Popesso);
  • February 2013: two weeks visit to the Paranal Observatory and to the ESO Headquarters in Santiago (Chile; funded by the European Southern Observatory, ESO)
  • February 2012: two weeks visit at the Institute for the Physics and the Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • September 2007–March 2010: Associate Visiting Researcher at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC, US) for three short (1 to 2 months) periods:
  1. March 2010 (off campus research at PSU)
  2. July-August 2008 (off campus research at Caltech & PSU)
  3. September-November 2007 (off campus research at CfA)
  • August 2003: in the framework of the international program: “New Frontiers in the Science”, 3–weeks visit of MPE in collaboration with Prof. G. Hasinger;
  • June/July 2003: in the framework of the international “Guillermo Haro Program”, 3– weeks visit of Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (INAOE), in Tonantzintla (Puebla, Mexico).


Professional/Academic experience and activities:

  • Lecturer (48 hours) for the class of "Fondamenti di Astronomia" starting from the AA2015/2016 for the "Laurea in Matematica"; lecturer (20 hours) for the class of "Fisica I / Esercitazioni" starting from the AA2012/2013 for the "Laurea in Astronomia" (3 years); lecturer for the class of "Attivita' professionalizzante, Modulo 2" in the AA2013/2014-2015/2016, for the "Laurea in Astronomia";
  • co-author of ~175 refereed publications (14 of them as first author); the number of citations is > 14000 (∼800 for first author papers) and the corresponding H-index is 65 (with 5 first author papers with more than 75 citations each), according to ADS (Astrophysics Data System; see list of publications);
  • presentation of more than 140 talks at international conferences and institutes, among which ∼40 invited/solicited/colloquia since 2007 (3 of them in 2016);
  • Regular referee activity (∼2/3 papers per year) since November 2007 for professional, high impact journals: Astronomy & Astrophysics, The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Nature Astronomy, and The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society;
  • Member of the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) of the panels:
  1. "AGN and Extragalactic Surveys" for Chandra time (AO7, Boston 2005; AO14, Boston 2012; AO16, Boston 2014; AO19, Boston 2017);
  2. "Active Galactic Nuclei" for XMM time (AO12, Paris 2012; AO13 Keele 2013)
  3. "Galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei" for ALMA time (Cycle 4, Vienna 2016)

  • Organization of conferences:
    - SOC member for the MIAPP workshop "In & Out. What rules the galaxy baryon cycle", Garching bei Munich, to be held in July 2017;
    - SOC member for the "The galaxy ecosystems", Garching bei Munich, to be held in July 2017;
    - SOC member for the  "The X-ray Universe", Rome, June 2017;
    - SOC and LOC co-chair for "Crossing the Rubicon: The Fate of Gas flows in galaxies", Santarcangelo di Romagna, to be held in September 2016;
    - SOC member for the "12th National AGN conference", Napoli, to be held in September 2016;
    - SOC member for "X-ray Surveys of the Hot and Energetic Universe", Focus Meeting 6 of the XXIX IAU General Assembly (Honolulu, 2015);
    - SOC member for ”Ten years of Science with Chandra” (Boston, 2009);
    - LOC member for "First eROSITA International conference" (Garmisch, 2011);
    - LOC member for "First National school on Astroparticle Physics" (Bertinoro, 2001)


Fundings ID record (including telescope time):

  1. Principal Investigator (PI) of the Career Integration Grant "eEASy: SMBH evolution across cosmic time: from current surveys to eROSITA and Euclid AGN synergies" (CIG 321913), from the European Union (FP7) for a total of 100.000 euro (January 2013 - December 2016). I used this grant to fully fund a PhD position for 3 years at DIFA/UNIBO (Dr. Michele Perna) and to co-fund a 2-yr post-doc position (Dr. Giorgio Lanzuisi) jointly with INAF-OABo. More than 40 papers published in ApJ, A&A, and MNRAS;
  2. co-PI of a DFG (Deutsche Forschung Gesellaschft) grant of 60.000 euro (2008) on the topic ``Unveiling and weighing Supermassive Black Holes" for a 1 year post-doc position;

* Telescope time:
- PI of 125 ks of XMM time (AO15; November 2016);
- PI of 6.5hrs of ALMA time (Cycle3; June 2016);
- PI of 8hrs of VLT/SINFONI time at ESO (P94; February 2015);
- PI of 6hrs of PdBI time (DDT; June 2014);
- PI of 3 nights of VLT/XShooter time at ESO (P92; February 2013);
- PI of 90ks of Chandra time (AO5, July 2005)

- Co-I of the 1.5 Ms XMM-Newton (PI: G. Hasinger 2003) and 4.2 Ms Chandra (PI: M. Elvis 2007, F. Civano; 2013) observations of the COSMOS field, and of the 1.2 Ms Chandra Survey of the UDS field (PI: G. Hasinger/D. Kocevski; 2015);
- Co-I of optical, NIR, MIR and mm/radio proposals of follow-up of (mainly) X-ray selected AGN at many
telescopes worldwide, and in particular: VLT/SINFONI (including a large program "SUPER", 280hrs; PI: V.
Mainieri, 2015), VLT/MUSE, VLT/X-Shooter, VLT/VIMOS, VLT/ISAAC, Keck/Deimos, Keck/NIRSPEC,
Subaru/FMOS, Spitzer, PdBI, ALMA, VLA.


Masters and PhD supervisions:

 PhD and Master Theses supervisions, and participations in PhD boards/committees:

  • supervisor of the PhD project of Michele Perna at DIFA/UNIBO (XXIX Cycle, 2013/2016; funded by the CIG grant);
  • supervisor of the PhD project of Pooja Chaudhary at the IMPRS program at MPE (2007-2011);
  • supervisor of the Master degree Thesis project by Giustina Vietri (2014) at UNIBO;
  • member of ‘Collegio di Dottorato' of the PhD in Astronomy at UNIBO, Cycles XXIX -  XXXIII
  • member of the committee for the final exam for the XXVI cycle PhD program (2010-2013) at Dipartimento di Fisica e Matematica, Universita' di Roma3 (January 2014);
  • member of the Thesis committee of two PhD students (Marie Louise Menzel and Li-Ting Hsu) at the IMPRS program at MPE (2012-present);
  • external referee for the PhD Theses of Dr. Shaji Vattakunnel (Università di Trieste, 2012) and Dr. Gabriele Melini (Università di Roma3, 2013)


Participation in research and instrument projects:

Member of the COSMOS collaboration, and in particular:

  • principal responsible for the XMM-COSMOS project (PI: G. Hasinger);
  • member of the core-team of the C-COSMOS project (PI: M. Elvis);
  • associated scientist of the z-COSMOS collaboration (PI: S. Lilly);
  • one of the 15 members of the Science Steering Committee (SSC)

Member of the CDFS teams (both XMM, PI: A. Comastri, and Chandra, PI: N. Brandt);

Member of the SUPER (PI: V. Mainieri) and VANDELS (PIs: L. Pentericci/R. McLure) projects;

Member of the PEP (PI: D. Lutz) and CANDELS (PIs: Ferguson/Faber) teams;

Member of the Euclid consortium (EC, PI: Y. Mellier);

Member of the XXL collaboration (PI: M. Pierre; 2012-2016);

Member of the SSC (Survey Science Center) consortium of the XMM-Newton satellite;

Member of the eROSITA (PI: P. Predehl) consortium;

co-Investigator of 4MOST (PI: R. de Jong), selected as a future multi-object spectrograph at ESO

Members of the SPIDERS survey (SPectroscopic IDentifications of ERosita Sources; PI: A. Merloni), and external collaborator of the SDSS-IV

Member of the ATHENA WG1.1 and WG1.2

Science contributor to IXO, ATHENA and eROSITA Yellow Books, and to the GRAVITAS, 4MOST and SPIDERS science cases.

Participation in Astrophysics Schools:
- International School on “Black Holes in the Universe”, Cargese (Corsica - France), May 2003
- Scuola Nazionale di Astrofisica, VI ciclo, IV corso, “Cosmologia – Astrofisica relativistica”, Asiago (Vicenza), September 2002
- Scuola Nazionale di Astrofisica, VI ciclo, III corso, “Turbulence in space plasmas – Galaxies and galaxies systems”, Cetraro (Cosenza), June 2002
- Prima Scuola Nazionale INAF/INFN di Astroparticelle, “Cosmologia e particelle elementari ”, Bertinoro (Forli'–Cesena), October 2001
- Scuola Nazionale di Astrofisica, V ciclo, II corso, “Proprieta' globali delle galassie –
Strumentazioni spaziali”, Marciana Marina (Isola d'Elba), September 1999

Outreach experiences:

  • 2014-present: Organizer of the lectures ``Conferenze alla Specola", a monthly outreach event on Astronomy organized by DIFA/UNIBO and INAF/Oabo (in September 2014 I presented my own work in this series);
  • In the framework of the event ``Eclissi 20 Marzo 2015", I coordinated the work to present the Sun eclipse through seminars and ``live" observations, in front of ~450 students of the ``Maria Ausiliatrice" institute in Bologna;
  • The results from 4 papers published in 2015 in the framework of the CIG ``eEASy" project have been advertised in the Italian community with an INAF press-release (;
  • One of the earliest results in my scientific career (the lack of significant evolution with redshift in the metal abundances of AGN, Brusa et al. 2005) has been the subject of a press release from the Chandra X-ray Center (;
  • Other results that I have obtained within the COSMOS collaboration and in particular the XMM-COSMOS project, have been brought to the general public through press releases and media interviews (e.g.,, ESO press release of Allevato et al. 2011);
  • I also participated in the MPE Open day of public outreach, helping with the organization of events for young kids.

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