Uncovering the Universe

Presentation by Maria Teresa Lago
Full Professor, School of Sciences,
University of Porto, Portugal

Abstract
Over the last decades Astronomy has made a tremendous progress in its objective of understanding the Universe we live in and are part of. Our current understanding of the cosmological structures and their physical properties, the way they are formed and evolve – from planets and stars to clusters of galaxies - rests firmly on the ability to incorporate techniques, tools and knowledge from many other fields of Science. At the same time, and because of the extreme nature of the objects and conditions it deals with, Astronomy became a major driving for many developments in those other fields.

Once again we are on the verge of opening new windows of observation and the resulting new opportunities will certainly exceed by far our current expectations. Our knowledge and understanding of the Universe grows steadily and fast, pointing to new frontiers still to be uncovered.

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Speaker’s profile
Teresa Lago was born in Lisboa and graduated at the School of Sciences, University of Porto (BSc in Mathematics, Licenciatura in Surveying Engineering. She obtained a Master Degree and later a PhD (1979) in Astronomy at the Sussex University, UK. In 1983 she was responsible for setting-up the first Astronomy Degree in the country and later an European Masters Degree, an European Interuniversity Masters Degree (1994), a Masters in the Teaching of Astronomy (1997) and a Doctoral Programme in Astronomy (2003), all at the School of Sciences, University of Porto. She was a member of the Executive Board of the "European Astrophysics Doctoral Network" involving over thirty universities and research institutions in Europe (1986-1997). In 1985 she received the Henri Chrétien Award (American Astronomical Society). She prepared the national plan to develop Astronomy at request of the National Research Council (1987) and in 1988 founded the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Porto, which she directed for eighteen years. She is Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society, UK (1990) and member of the Academiae Europeae (1992). She is a member of the Council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) the organization for Astronomy in Europe and coordinates the Scientific Council for “Earth & Space Sciences” of the National Research Council. She has been involved in various EC Panels (DG XII) and Science Advisory Committees and Boards namely, Space Science Advisory Committee (ESA), School of Cosmic Physics (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), Astronomy & Space Science (Academy of Finland). From 1999-2002 she was President of “Porto 2001 – European Capital of Culture” a wide-ranging 250 million euros national project.
She is a founding member of the European Research Council Scientific Council.

Most relevant activities include: Training in Astronomy (graduate and post-graduate), the promotion of science and scientific culture, research in Astrophysics. Research activities cover multi-wavelength observations and modelling of the atmospheres, winds and stellar activity of low mass stars in the context of stellar evolution.