I am an astronomer working at INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri . My main research interest is planet formation. I investigate the physical structure and chemical composition of protoplanetary disks where comets, planets and moons are forming at this right moment. Most of my recent work is based on observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). Since September 2015 I am the principal investigator and leader of the young research group RESERVOIRS financed by Ministero dell'Istruzione, Università e Ricerca (MIUR) program "Scientific Independence of young Researchers (SIR)".

Previous positions

    2011-2015:    Postdoc at Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics (Garching bei Muenchen - Germany)

    2010-2011:     Assistant Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD - USA)

    2009:     Postdoc at Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (Heidelberg, Germany)

    2006-2008:     PhD Student at University of Padova (Padova, Italy)


(left) Artist's impression of an infant star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk in which planets are forming c(redit: Calcada/ESO). (right) The Atacama Large Millimeter Array in the Chilean Andes (credit: Clem & Adri Bacri-Normier/ESO)

Recent highlights

First detection of the simplest organic acid in the protoplanetary disk surrounding a Sun-like young star
We report the first detection of HCOOH (formic acid) in the protoplanetary disk around TW Hya. The formic acid contains a carboxylic group (-COOH), which stands as the basis for synthesis of more complex carboxylic and amino acids used by life on Earth. More specifically, this species is involved in a chemical route leading to glycine, the simplest amino acid, the basis of many proteins
Favre, Fedele, Semenov et al. 2018, ApJL, 862, L2

ALMA continuum observations of the protoplanetary disk AS 209
ALMA reveals two dust gaps in the protoplanetary disk around AS 209 in the Ophiucus star forming regions. The two dust gaps are a clear evidence of the interaction between the disk with young (unseen) planets
Fedele, Tazzari, Booth et al. A&A 2018, 610, 24

Probing disk physics and chemistry with Sulphur-bearing molecules
We carried out a deep search for Sulphur-bearing species in the protoplanetary disk of DM Tau with ALMA. Of the various species observed, only CS was detected. The ratio of CS to SO (undetected) hints at a non-solar Carbon/Oxygen abundance ratio with Carbon being more abundant than Oxygen in gas phase
Semenov, Favre, Fedele et al. 2018, A&A, 617, 28

ALMA reveals dust and gas gaps in the protoplanetary systems HD 169142
ALMA observations of cold gas and dust revealed the presence of gaps and rings in HD 169142. The most plausible explanation is that these pronounced gaps in the gas distribution were carved out by giant protoplanets
Fedele et al. A&A 2017, 600, 72

Mass accretion rates of young stars in the Chameleon I star forming region
Using X-Shooter at the VLT, we measured accurately the stellar properties and mass accretion rates of pre-main-sequence stars in the Chameleon I star forming region. The spread of mass accretion rates at any given stellar mass is found to be larger than that derived in other star forming regions. The different trends may be caused by environmental effects
Manara, Fedele & Herczeg A&A 2016, 585, 136