What do you do as part of DESI (both generally and day-to-day activities)?
I mostly work within the Lyman alpha working group [the science team in DESI that focuses on extracting information from quasar spectra in order to learn more about the history of the universe, Ed.]. Alongside with Michael Walther I am co-lead of the Picca task force [Picca is the analysis code developed to process quasar spectra]. We work on the development of the analysis pipeline Picca, and we coordinate the team of developers. On a day-to-day basis I participate in many working group discussions where we discuss the research of the different members. I identify potential defects on the analysis and coordinate the actions required in Picca to fix/test them.
Where were you born ? Where do you live now ? What are the interesting places that standout that your work has taken you to?
I was born in a very small town near Barcelona, and I now live in Paris. I’ve also been living in Marseille and the Canary Islands! My work has taken me to several places both in Europe and the US.
What would you say is the most interesting or exciting thing about your job?
For me, the most interesting bits of scientific research are the sense of accomplishment once you finally solve the puzzle you are into, and the sense of seeing things no one else in the world has seen yet.
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Create a plan: what do you want to do in the next 5 years? And in 10 years? Where do you want to live? Yes, I think it is more important to live in a place you like rather than having a “better” position. Detail the initial stages of the plan, and just have a broad idea of what you want to achieve. Focus on the opportunities and modify the plan as necessary. And always have a backup!
Finally, what do you do for fun?
I like to do many, many things: climbing, biking, hiking (mostly in the mountains), dancing, cooking. I also enjoy a lot “Castells”: we create human pyramids that go up six stories or even higher!