Francesca ZUCCARELLO

Associate Professor of Astronomy and astrophysics [FIS/05]
Office: 129b, OAC 129a
Email: francesca.zuccarello@inaf.it francesca.zuccarello@ct.infn.it
Phone: 5471, OAC 095 7332237
Fax: OAC 095 330592
Web Site: www.oact.inaf.it/francesca-zuccarello/
francesca.zuccarello
Office Hours: Monday from 09:00 to 11:00 (send an e-mail to check whether there are any delays) | Friday from 10:30 to 12:30 (send an e-mail to check whether there are any delays)


Research activities

  1. Solar Physics: project EUROPEAN SOLAR TELESCOPE (EST).
  2. Solar Physics: emergence and evolution of active regions in the solar atmosphere and rapid evolution phenomena (flare, filament eruptions, coronal mass ejections)
  3. Sun-Earth interactions and Space Weather phenomena
  4. UV transient classification (EUSO-SPB2).

ORCID: 0000-0003-1853-2550

Area of Expertise: Solar Physics; solar flare observations; emergence and evolution of active regions on the Sun; Space Weather; Cosmic Rays.

Relevant Employment and Educational History

Education

  • 1973 – 1978                Degree in Physics, 110/110, University of Catania

Employment

  • 10/83 – 10/01              Researcher at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Catania University
  • 01/84 – 12/84              Research Fellow, CNR, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • 10/01 – present           Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Catania University

Prizes and awards

1981 – Catania Astrophysical Observatory – Research Prize

Research Interests

Solar flares: precursors, magnetic energy storage, magnetic field configuration, multi-wavelength analysis, correlation with CMEs. Emergence and evolution of active regions: high resolution spectropolarimetric observations of emerging flux, interaction between the emerging flux and the ambient magnetic field, moving magnetic features. Space Weather: impact of CMEs on the circum-terrestrial environment; relation between solar activity phenomena and Forbush decrease. Principal supervisor of 13 graduated PhD students.

Publications Summary

130 published refereed papers with H-index = 29 and 5600 citations; 67 conference proceedings, Co-Editor of 3 Conference Proceedings.

Selected Research-Related Public Service Positions

  • Responsible for solar observations carried out at the equatorial spar of the Catania Astrophysical Observatory (1989 – 2010)
  • Co-PI of the Project "Emergence and evolution of solar active regions" in the framework of a French-Italian Project PICS  (2000 – 2002)
  • WP Leader in COST Action 724 (2003 – 2007)
  • Member of the Board of the Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Fisica Spaziale (2003 – 2013)
  • INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics) representative in the Scientific Committee of the solar Telescope THEMIS (2005 – 2008)
  • Associate Researcher at INAF (2005 -)
  • National Coordinator for the Catania University in the RTN FP7 Project SOLAIRE (Solar Atmospheric and Interplanetary Research) (2007 – 2011) 
  • National Representative for the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) (2008 -)
  • Scientific Responsible for INAF in the FP7 Project "EST: The Large Aperture European Solar Telescope" (2008 – 2011)
  • Co-leader of the ISSI team "Magnetic Flux Emergence in the Solar Atmosphere: Comparing Observational and Model Conditions Leading to Active Region Formation and to the Interaction of the newly Emerged Flux with the Ambient Magnetic Field" (2010 – 2011)
  • National Coordinator for the Catania University in the eHEROES FP7-SPACE-2011-1 project (2012 - 2015)
  • Associate Editor of the “Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate” (2012 - )
  • Scientific Responsible for INAF in the FP7 Project "SOLARNET: High Resolution Solar Physics Network" (2013 - 2017)
  • Associate Researcher at INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics) (2013 -)
  • National Coordinator for the Catania University in the F-CHROMA FP7-SPACE-2013-1 project (2014 - 2016)
  • National Coordinator for the Catania University in the H2020 Project "SOLARNET: High Resolution Solar Physics Network" (2019 - 2022)
  • Member of the Scientific Board of SWICO (Space Weather Italian COmmunity) (2014 - 2021)
  • Member of the NASA Heliophysics Supporting Research Panel Review, NASA Research & Education Support Services (NRESS) 
  • Member of the Science Advisory Committee of the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics (University of Oslo) (2017 -)
  • Member of the Science Advisory Group of EST (2017 -)
  • Expert of the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission (2017)
  • Member of committees or external referee for the evaluation of scientific projects for Universities and Foreign Agencies of different countries
  • Member of the Board of the European Solar Physics Division of the European Physical Society (2017 -)
  • Associate Scientist of the METIS/Solar Orbiter Scientific Team (2018 -)
  • Co-leader of the ISSI team "Step forward in solarflare and coronal mass ejection (CME) forecasting" (2022-2023)
  • Member of the SWATNet External Advisory Board (2022 -)
  • Referee of the Journals: Solar Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Astrophysical Journal, Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Astron. Rep., Astrophys. and Space Science, Journal of Astron.
  • PI or Co-PI of Coordinated Observational Campaigns carried out at THEMIS (IPM), DST (IBIS), SST (CRISP), DOT
  • Chair or member of the SOC of several International and National Meetings
  • Chair or member of the LOC of several International and National Meetings

Summary of Grant income > 10 kEuro

  • February 2005 – PRIN-MIUR 2004 (Co-I, €39k)
  • January 2006 – Funding from Regione Sicilia (Co-I, €27k)
  • February 2007 – ASI project (Participant, €23k)
  • June 2007 - EC FP6 Marie Curie Network SOLAIRE (Team Leader - €225k)
  • February 2008 – EC FP7 Research Infrastructures Project EST (Team Leader, €397k)
  • March 2012 – EC FP7 Collaborative Grant e-HEROES (Participant, €95k)
  • February 2013 – EC FP7 Research Infrastructures Project SOLARNET (Team Leader, €307k)
  • January 2014 – EC FP7 Collaborative Grant F-CHROMA (Team Leader, €231k)
  • April 2014 – PRIN-MIUR 2012 (Co-I, €56k)
  • April 2017 - EC H2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme PRE-EST (Team Leader, €18.5k)
  • January 2019 - EC H2020 Research Infrastructures Project SOLARNET (Team Leader, €195.7k)
  • November 2019 - PRIN-MIUR 2017 (Co-I, €88k)
  • December 2021 - ASI-ASPIS 2021 (Team Leader, €32k)

Teaching activities

University Teaching

  • 1985 – 1992                Astronomy (Exercises) (24 h)
  • 1992 -  2004                Astronomical and Cosmographical Geography (60 h)
  • 1997 – 2000                Basic Astrophysics (48 h)
  • 2000 –  present           Solar Physics (48 h)
  • 2001 – 2007                Physics I (48 h)
  • 2007 - 2016             Magnetohydrodynamics (48 h)
  • 2009 -  2010                Fundamental Astronomy (48 h)
  • 2010 – 2013                Astronomy (48 h)
  • 2011 – 2012                Astronomical Geography (48 h)
  • 2012 - 2021                 Astrophysics (48 h)
  • 2016 - present             Physics (28 h)
  • 2017- present              Magnetohydrynamics and plasma physics (42 h)

Postgrad.

2000 – 2009                Themes of Astrophysics (25 h)

Postgraduate-level Summer School Teaching

  • August 2000 – “Sun – Earth Connection and Space Weather”, International School of Space Science, L’Aquila, Italy
  • March 2006 – “The Physics of the Sun: The Active Sun on your Active Desktop”, International School of Space Science, L’Aquila, Italy
  • April 2011 – “Frontiers of Space Science: from Solar Activity to NEOs”, International School of Space Science, L’Aquila, Italy
  • September 2012 – “The Sun: a Plasma Physics Laboratory - Formation of the Solar System: clues from exploration”, PhD School, Vulcano – Aeolian Islands, Italy
  • September 2013 – “7th European Summer School on Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics”, PhD School, S. Tecla, Catania, Italy
  • September 2015 - "Heliospheric Physical Processes for Understanding Solar-Terrestrial Relations", International School of Space Science, L'Aquila, Italy 
  • April 2022 - "The different spatio-temporal scales of the solar magnetism", International School of Space Science, L'Aquila, Italy 

Selected Educational Academic-Related Public Service Positions

  • Member of the Board of Higher Education of INAF (2005 – 2007)
  • Member of the Board of the PhD School in Physics at the University of Catania (2005-2008 and 2013 -)
  • Co-Director of the School "The Physics of the Sun: the Active Sun on Your Active Desktop" at the International School of Space Physics, L’Aquila (2006)
  • Member of the Board of the Department of Physics and Astronomy (2007-2010)
  • Member of the Didactic Committee of the Master Degree in Physics (2007 – 2010)
  • Teacher – Tutor accredited at the Scuola Superiore di Catania (2007 – 2013)
  • Deputy Coordinator of the International PhD School in Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics at the University of Catania (2008 - 2015)
  • Coordinator of the Degree Courses in Physics (both Bachelor and Master) at the University of Catania (2010 - 2012)
  • Coordinator of the MSc in Physics at the University of Catania (2012 - 2016 and 2019 - 2021)
  • Member of the Joint Committee of the Department of Physics and Astronomy (2012 - 2016)
  • Co-Director of the International PhD School on “The Sun: a plasma physics laboratory”, Vulcano, Italy, 2012
  • Representative for Didactic at DFA (2018 - present)

Public Outreach Activity

  • Member of the INAF Board for the organization of national outreach activities related to the Venus Transit, June 2004
  • Participant to the MIUR Project “Lauree Scientifiche” for the promotion of University scientific studies, with the organization of lectures and practical exercises on Solar Physics (27 h) (2004 - 2015)
  • Member of the INAF Board for the organization of national outreach activities related to the International Heliophysical Year, 2007
  • Member of the POE (Public Outreach and Education) of INAF – Catania Astrophysical Observatory (2004 – 2011)
  • Member of the Committee for the assignment of prizes for the contest “Look at the sky and draw your emotions” for primary school pupils (2007 - 2014)
  • Talks at schools and amateur groups on the Sun, Space Weather and related topics
  • Talks during visits of students of secondary schools at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Catania University and at the INAF-Catania Astrophysical Observatory on Astronomy and Solar Physics

Professional Affiliations

  • Italian Society of Astronomy
  • Italian Society of Physics
  • European Physical Society
  • International Astronomical Union
  • American Geophysical Union

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The research activity of Prof. Francesca Zuccarello concerns the study of magnetic phenomena occurring in the solar atmosphere and the interactions of the magnetized plasma with the circumterrestrial environment, with particular reference to cosmic rays. These activities have been carried out through the participation in important projects and experiments, conducted by major international collaborations:

  1. Solar physics: project EUROPEAN SOLAR TELESCOPE (EST), (EST), which involves the construction of the largest European solar telescope (4-meter primary mirror) in the Canary Islands
  2. Cosmic-Ray physics: Auger experiment at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Malargüe, Mendoza province, Argentina
  3. UV emission: Mini-Euso experiment in the framework of the JEM-EUSO project.