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Mario Damiano

Photo of Mario Damiano


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Exoplanet Discovery and Science


Mario Damiano obtained his BSc in physics and MSc degree in astrophysics at the University of Palermo in Italy (UNIPA). Since then Mario has been studying the atmospheric characteristics of extrasolar planets.

Mario received his Ph.D. at the University College London (UCL). During his Ph.D. he worked on the data analysis of low-resolution data taken from space (e.g. Hubble Space Telescope) and high-resolution data from ground facilities (e.g. Very Large Telescope). The Ph.D. was funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF).

Since November 2018 he is a JPL postdoc fellow. Mario performs data analysis to study and interpret the spectroscopic characteristics of exoplanetary atmosphere to unveil atmospheric composition and dynamic of these alien worlds. Mario is also an enthusiast of deep learning and AI, and he is studying the possibilities of implementing such powerful algorithms into his research.


  • -2015 – 2018: Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
  • -2013 – 2015: MSc in Astrophysics at the University of Palermo (UNIPA), Italy
  • -2010 – 2013: BSc in Physics at the University of Palermo (UNIPA), Italy

Professional Experience

  • JPL Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology (Nov 2018 - present)
  • Research Associate, National Institute of Astrophysics Palermo Observatory (INAF-OAPa) (Dec 2015 - present)

Research Interests

  • Composition and dynamic of exoplanetary atmospheres.
  • Data Analysis of observations taken from space and ground facilities.
  • Interpretation of the data analysis results through retrieval process.
  • Develop and application of deep learning algorithms for data analysis.

Selected Awards

  • JPL Postdoctoral Fellowship at NASA/JPL (2018)
  • ERC/INAF Ph.D. Studentship (2015)

Selected Publications

- Damiano, M., Micela, G., Tinetti, G., “A principal component analysis-based method to analyze high-resolution spectroscopic data on exoplanets”, ApJ, 878, 153, Jun 2019. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab22b2.

- Damiano, M., Morello, G., Tsiaras, A., Zingales, T., Tinetti, G., “Near-IR transmission spectrum of HAT-P-32 b using HST/WFC3”, AJ, 154, 39, Jul 2017. DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aa738b.

- A. Tsiaras, I. P. Waldmann, T. Zingales, M. Rocchetto, G. Morello, M. Damiano, K. Karpouzas, G. Tinetti, L. K. McKemmish, J. Tennyson, and S. N. Yurchenko, “A Population Study of Gaseous Exoplanets”, AJ, 155, 156, Mar 2018. DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aaaf75.

- Tsiaras, A., Waldmann, I. P., Rocchetto, M., Varley, R., Morello, G., Damiano, M., Tinetti, G., “A New Approach to Analyzing HST Spatial Scans: The Transmission Spectrum of HD 209458 b”, ApJ, 832, 202, Dec 2016. DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/832/2/202.

- Tsiaras, A., Rocchetto, M., Waldmann, I. P., Venot, O., Varley, R., Morello, G., Damiano, M., Tinetti, G., Barton, E. J., Yurchenko, S. N., Tennyson, J., “Detection of an Atmosphere Around the Super-Earth 55 Cancri e”, ApJ, 820, 99, Apr 2016. DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/820/2/99.