Serena Giardino is a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics. She obtained a BSc in Astronomy and a MSc in Theoretical Physics from the University of Bologna in Italy, and spent a semester at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Her interests are at the interface between gravity and cosmology: she studies the universe and how we can improve the standard model of cosmic evolution, based on Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, using instead modified gravity theories. Serena is engaged in the effort to provide equal opportunities at her institute and enjoys bringing science to the public in several languages. In her free time, you will most likely find her reading books or attending operas.
I want to explore generalizations of Einstein’s theory of gravity in order to solve the puzzles of the current standard model of cosmology. I want this because this model, despite its successes, can only account for 5% of the matter and energy in the universe without postulating some unknown components, dark matter and dark energy. I can do this because I am learning from inspiring scientists and I am giving my contribution to a broader unifying perspective on modified gravity theories.