Foto Celina Bermudez Atraccion Talento UVainvestiga
Rotational spectroscopy - Molecular structure - Intra- and intermolecular interactions - Astrochemistry - Gas-phase analysis - Astrophysics - Biomolecules

Celina Bermúdez Arias

Physical Chemistry GIR Group on Supersonic Plasma and Jet Spectroscopy (GEPCS) CINQUIMA 
My research career

I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Valladolid in 2011. In the last year of my degree, I did an ERASMUS at the University of Ghent, which awakened my interest in scientific research. I took my first steps in the world of research at UVa thanks to the summer stays at the Science Park and a UVa research initiation grant. After this start, I tried to combine my two passions: research and teaching.

I obtained an FPI grant that allowed me to do my PhD in the area of physical chemistry, specialising in rotational spectroscopy. During this period I spent time abroad, one in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and another in the area of Spectroscopy at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA-CalTech). Thanks to this work, I received my PhD in chemistry in 2015 with an international mention.

I did my first postdoc between 2016 and 2018 at the Physics section of the University of Lille (France), where I specialised in the analysis of unstable species of astrophysical interest. A Juan de la Cierva contract allowed me to join the Molecular Astrophysics Group at CSIC under the supervision of Dr. José Cernicharo. There I worked for two and a half years on the detection of chemical species in space, as well as on the assembly of a new rotational spectroscopy system dedicated to astrophysics in the laboratory.

After a third one-year postdoc at the University of Lille, I was able to return to Spain and joined the University of Valladolid in 2022 with a María Zambrano excellence contract. I am currently working in the Plasma Spectroscopy and Supersonic Jets Group at UVa, together with Professor Alberto Lesarri, with the aim of deepening the astrophysical applications of rotational spectroscopy.

My research

I study the chemical-physical properties of molecules of biological and astrophysical interest in the gas phase using the latest rotational spectroscopy technologies. In this way, it is possible to experimentally determine the three-dimensional molecular structure, the electrical and magnetic properties and the intra- and intermolecular interactions that condition molecular activity. The ultimate goal of this work is to understand and rationalise the macroscopic and functional properties of molecules of biological or astrophysical interest.

In addition, in this process I generate precise spectroscopic data of chemical species that are analogous to their "fingerprints". Through these spectroscopic data, the presence of these chemical species in any environment can be identified. This is the methodology I use, for example, for the identification of molecules in interstellar and circumstellar space, and can also be extended to atmospheric or industrial research.

My scientific vision is based on the development and application of new instrumentation and analytical methods in the field of rotational spectroscopy, in order to allow a better understanding of chemical composition and evolution, whether in space, in the atmosphere or in the biological or industrial environment.