Alberto Fernández-Soto
Observational Cosmology
Cientifico Titular - CSIC
BSc, Cantabria (Spain), 1992
PhD, Cantabria (Spain), 1996

Alberto Fernández-Soto's research is centered on Observational Cosmology. He did his thesis work under the supervision of Xavier Barcons on Lyman-alpha absorbers on QSO spectra. The main results from his thesis work on this subject were the study of the so-called Proximity Effect (a relative lack of absorbers in the vicinity of QSOs, supposedly produced by the ionizing flux of the QSO itself) and the first clear detection of strong clustering in high-redshift Lyman-alpha absorbers.

He has continued working on this subject, mainly along the lines of galaxy-absorber identification and study of large-scale structure using QSO absorbers. He has established collaborations with Ken Lanzetta, John Webb, Hsiao-Wen Chen, Jochen Liske, and Amelia Ortiz-Gil, amongst others.

Alberto works in a project to study the distribution of satellite galaxies around apparently isolated ellipticals in the local Universe, in order to study the processes that led to the formation of these objects in cosmic scales. Vicent Martínez and Rodney Smith are the main collaborators in this task

Another path to the study of the high-redshift Universe is through the analysis of very deep images. Alberto has applied photometric redshift techniques to the Hubble Deep Field images, and obtained catalogues of photometry and redshifts that have been widely used for the analysis of the distant Universe. Collaborators in this field include Ken Lanzetta, Hsiao-Wen Chen, and Simon Driver. Similar techniques have also been applied to the selection of distant Gamma Ray Burst afterglows, in collaboration with the Italian Mistici collaboration.

Presently Alberto works at IFCA on applications of photometric redshift techniques to deep imaging surveys. He is involved in two major survey projects: ALHAMBRA and PAU, as well as in the scientific design and exploitation of the OSIRIS camera on GTC, and a possible spectrograph for the E-ELT, the OPTIMOS/EVE design.

Marie Curie Fellowships
Programa Ramon y Cajal
Programa Ramon y Cajal

Alberto Fernández-Soto

Selected Publications

K.M. Lanzetta, A. Yahil, and A. Fernández-Soto, "Star-forming galaxies at very high redshifts"
Nature, 381, 759-763 (1996)
Press release from STScI covering this result

A. Fernández-Soto, K.M. Lanzetta, and A. Yahil, "A new catalog of photometric redshifts in the Hubble Deep Field"
Astrophysical Journal, 513, 34 (1999)

K.M. Lanzetta, N. Yahata, S.M. Pascarelle, H.-W. Chen, and A. Fernández-Soto, "The Star Formation Rate Intensity Distribution Function-Implications for the Cosmic Star Formation Rate History of the Universe"
Astrophysical Journal, 570, 492 (2002)
Press release from STScI covering this result
Popular science article in El Pais regarding this result (Spanish).

G. Tagliaferri, L.A. Antonelli, G. Chincarini, A. Fernandez-Soto, et al., "GRB 050904 at redshift 6.3: observations of the oldest cosmic explosion after the Big Bang"
Astronomy and Astrophysics, 443, L1 (2005)
Press release from ESO covering this result

R. Salvaterra, M. Della Valle, S.Campana, G. Chincarini, S.Covino, P. D'Avanzo, A. Fernandez-Soto, et al., "GRB 090423 at a redshift of z~8.1"
Nature, 461, 1258 (2009)
Press releases from TNG and CSIC covering this result

On-Line Publications      Popular Science


Personal (very old)


Famous radio moments