Marina Vinhas Cortês

Marina CortesI started out my career as a professional classical dancer.  I then studied theoretical physics as an undergraduate in Lisbon (Portugal), went on to do my PhD in Cosmology with Andrew Liddle in Sussex (UK) and did my first postdoc at Berkeley Lab in California, where I am at the present.

What inspired you to study science?

I always liked science from a very early age. What irrevocably determined my future career as a scientist was reading the book “Contact” by Carl Sagan when I was sixteen.  At that time I was a full time student at the Conservatory for Dance intending to become a professional ballet dancer.  But reading this book had a profound impact on me: that I would always want to be an astrophysicist from then on.  I finished my dance studies, danced professionally for a few years and then decided to enroll as an undergraduate student in theoretical physics.

Do you have a role model in science?

That would have to be Carl Sagan who continues to inspire me by ever expanding the limits and demands on what a scientist does and is driven by.

A quote that inspires you?

“Consistency, elegance and beauty are never necessary conditions for scientific practice”
— Paul Feyerabend

Research interests

Physics of the Early Universe
Bayesian Statistics
Dark energy reconstruction and phenomenology
Gravity of discrete space times

A list of all Marina’s papers can be found here.

Favourite reference papers:

For inflation:
Inflation dynamics and reheating (Bruce A. Bassett, Shinji Tsujikawa, David Wands)

For statistics:
Statistical methods for cosmological parameter selection and estimation (Andrew R. Liddle)

These are not so much reference but papers in the last couple years that have new ideas that have made me think:

visited the group for two months during April-June 2011

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