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Marcella Brusa

Associate Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Curriculum Vitae

Education and previous positions:

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:
February 2012: two weeks visit at the Institute for the Physics and the Mathematics of the Universe, 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:
– March 2010 (off campus research at PSU)
– July 2008 - August 2008 (off campus research at Caltech & PSU)
– September 2007 - 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 (24 credits) for the class of Physics I
* co-author of ~110 refereed publications in the past 9 years (9 of them as first author); the number of citations is > 5000 (∼ 420 for first author papers) and the corresponding H-index is 43 (with 6 first author papers with more than 43 citations each), according to ADS (Astrophysics Data System; see list of publications);
* presentation of more than 75 talks at international conferences, among which ∼10 invited since 2007 (3 of them in 2011);
* Regular referee activity (∼3 papers per year) since November 2007 for professional, high impact journals: Astronomy & Astrophysics, The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, and Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society;
* Member of the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) of the panels:
- “AGN and Extragalactic Surveys” for Chandra time (AO7, Boston 2005; AO14, Boston 2012);
- "Active Galactic Nuclei" for XMM time (AO12, Paris 2012)
* Member of the SOC for the ”Ten years of Science with Chandra” (Boston, 2009); member of the LOC for the “First eROSITA international conference” (Garmisch, 2011), “Ringberg COSMOS collaboration meeting” (Ringberg, 2006), “Prima scuola nazionale INAF/INFM di astroparticelle - Cosmologia e particelle elementari” (Bertinoro, 2001).

Fundings ID record (including telescope time):
principal investigator of a CIG (Career Integration Grant) grant from the European Union (FP7) for a total of 100 keuro in 4 years: "eEASy: SMBH evolution across cosmic time: from current surveys to eROSITA and Euclid AGN synergies" (48 months)

principal investigator of a DFG (Deutsche Forschung Gesellaschft) grant of a total of 60 keuro (one post-doc salary for 1 year) on “Unveiling and weighing supermassive black holes at cosmological distances”;

Principal Investigator (PI) of 15 hrs of VLT/XShooter observing time at ESO (to be performed in February 2013)

Principal Investigator (PI) of 90 ks of Chandra observations to image with Chandra the “Daddi Field” (2005). Co-Investigator of many large X-ray surveys projects, notably: the 1.5 Ms XMM-Newton (PI: G. Hasinger) and 1.8 Ms Chandra (PI: M. Elvis) observations of the COSMOS field and the 2.6 Ms XMM-Newton (PI: A. Comastri) and 4 Ms Chandra (PI: N. Brandt) observations of the CDFS;

Masters and PhD supervisions:
supervisor of the PhD project of Dr. Pooja Chaudhary at IMPRS/MPE, on the topic: ”Iron line from integrated spectra of XMM sources”; member of the Thesis committee of other 4 students at IMPRS/MPE (2008-present)

co–supervisor of a degree thesis project by Francesca Civano (2004) at the Astronomy
Department, aimed at a systematic study of the most extreme, X-ray selected obscured sources, in order to determine their redshifts from the X–rays.

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 PEP (PI: D. Lutz) and CANDELS (PIs: Ferguson/Faber) teams;
- Member of the Euclid consortium (EC, PI: Y. Mellier)
- Member of the SSC (Survey Science Center) consortium of the XMM-Newton satellite;
- Member of the eROSITA (PI: P. Predehl) consortium, a german-russian X-ray telescope expected to be launched in late 2013; it will provide the first sensitive (a factor of ∼ 30 deeper than ROSAT) all sky survey in the soft and hard X-ray bands. I am part of the AGN WG (co-chair) and responsible for assessing the sensitivity of the survey for point-like sources.
- co-Investigator of 4MOST (PI: R. de Jong), one of the two projects selected for concept study for future multi-object spectrograph at ESO, and designed to provide high resolution spectroscopy for ∼90% of eROSITA sources observable by ESO telescopes. I am part of the AGN working group and I contributed to put together the eROSITA and AGN science case. I am also responsible to deliver the AGN mock catalog to be used to test different instrument setups (in terms of resolution, numbers of fibers, FOV etc.) and therefore to choose the final design of the instrument. I am also co-investigator of the SPIDERS proposal (SPectroscopic IDentifications of ERosita Sources), selected as part of the After Sloan 3 call for proposal to use the APO telescope of Sloan for follow-up of eROSITA sources from 2014 on.
- 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:
early in my career, I was invited to my former high school to present the programs of the Astronomy courses at the Bologna and Padova universities.
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.

Research track record
I have played a major role in the last 10 years in the planning, execution, and scientific
exploitation of several leading X-ray and multi-wavelength surveys (HELLAS2XMM, COSMOS, CDFS, among others), which led to world-wide recognized results (see list of publications).
Most of my work in the past years has been devoted to data reduction and analysis of X–ray data and multi-wavelength catalogs in the COSMOS field. I have been involved in the data analysis and reduction of XMM-Newton observations, leading, among others, to publications on the X-ray logN-logS (Cappelluti, Brusa et al. 2009), and on the multi-wavelength properties of X-ray sources (Brusa et al. 2007, 2010). My scientific interest in the COSMOS field (extended also to the deep observations in the Chandra Deep Fields, CDFS and CDFN) was mainly the search, the study and the characterization of the most obscured sources at z∼ 1− 2 and their host galaxies, both directly selected in the X–rays (Brusa et al. 2003, Brusa et al. 2005, Brusa et al. 2007; Brusa et al. 2009b; Brusa et al. 2010; Mainieri et al. 2011) or revealed through stacking analysis in infrared selected samples of candidate obscured AGN (Brusa et al. 2002, Fiore et al. 2008; 2009; Luo et al. 2011). More recently, I focused my research on the high-redshift X-ray selected population (Brusa et al. 2009a, Civano, Brusa et a. 2011). By means of studying average spectral properties of deep fields sources, I was also able to exclude a significant evolution in the equivalent width (and therefore in the iron abundance) of AGN with cosmological redshift (Brusa, Gilli & Comastri 2005; recently extended in the work by Chaudhary, Brusa et al. 2010, 2012).