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Duilia de Mello is an extragalactic astrophysicist, full Professor in the Physics Department and the Vice Provost for Global Strategies of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, USA.


She joined the Catholic University of America in 2003 as Research Associate at the Institute of Astrophysics and Computational Sciences (IACS) based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). In 2008 she joined the Physics Department as Associate Professor and she continues to collaborate with NASA using the Hubble Space Telescope.

She was Assistant Professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden based at Onsala Space Observatory from 1999-2003. Professor de Mello was a Postdoctoral fellow at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile and National Observatory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Academic background

  • PhD in Astronomy is from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (1995). Thesis: Mixed Pairs of Galaxies.

  • MSc degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Alabama (1993) and a MSc degree in Space Sciences and Radio Astronomy from the Institute of Space Research (INPE) (1988), Brazil

  • BSc in Astronomy is from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1985), Brazil.



  • She received the Order of Rio Branco (Officer’s rank) in 2020.

  • She was awarded the Professional of the Year of the Brazil Diaspora by the Brazilian government in 2013 in the field of Information Technology and Communication.

  • Listed as one of the 17 women that made a difference in 2017 by UOL.

  • Named one of the 100 most influential Brazilians by the Epoca magazine in 2014.

  • Selected as one of the 10 women Changing Brazil by Barnard College/Columbia University in 2013.

Science popularization

Professor de Mello is deeply committed to communicating and popularizing science and to inspire young women to consider careers in STEM fields. She has written many articles and three books dedicated to motivate young Brazilian students to become scientists.

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