Mario Damasso

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Mario Damasso, INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Torino, Italy

Role: PSM member

I have got the PhD in Astronomy at the University of Padova and presently I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Torino. I belong to the first generation of Italian astrophysicists who started their scientific career entirely in the field of extrasolar planets. During my PhD and postdoctoral years I have been working on the detection and characterization of other worlds with the photometric transit and radial velocity methods. I am involved in the APACHE project, a ground-based survey designed to search for transiting planets around nearby M dwarfs.

I am a member of the science team of the GAPS long-term program, now evolved in GAPS2, and collaborator of the HARPS-N Consortium. Both teams are exploiting the unique capabilities of the high-resolution HARPS-N spectrograph to search for and characterize extrasolar planets orbiting host stars with a variety of spectral types, ages and magnetic activity levels. Within these collaborations I am developing in particular techniques for mitigating the unwanted contribution of the stellar activity to the radial velocity variations, trying to push the limits toward the detection and precise characterization of low mass planets.
I am also working on the characterization of the magnetic activity in M dwarfs, investigating the rotation-activity-age relation for low-mass stars through the analysis of the high precision light curves collected by the Kepler/K2 mission.

I have been devoting large part of my profession to education and outreach activities, sharing the amazing world of other worlds with students and general public.

My contribution to the development and exploitation of the PLATO mission is intended to be mainly focused on target selection and on improving the data analysis techniques, especially the proper treatment of the activity signals.
Looking forward to the next generation high-precision spectrographs.