Diogo Souto

Diogo Souto headshot photo

1. Can you describe your role in the SDSS collaboration and what you enjoy most about it?

My main role is leading the COINS committee together with Danny and Emily. COINS is the Inclusiveness committee in SDSS, and our main work is to promote an inclusive environment in SDSS, a worldwide collaboration with people from very different cultures and backgrounds. The opportunity to collaborate with people with expertise in diverse areas of astronomy and cultural backgrounds is definitely what I enjoy most.

2. Can you tell us about your educational background and how you got interested in the field of astronomy/astrophysics?

I’m from the Northeast coast of Brazil, where I did my undergraduate degree in physics and went to Rio de Janeiro to do my Ph.D. in astronomy. I started liking stellar physics during undergrad and decided to pursue it in my Ph.D. When I was younger (10-ish), I was fascinated with minor bodies like asteroids and comets. I think this is why I got into Astronomy.

3. What projects are you currently working on and what are you most excited about?

Besides COINS, I’m interested in everything related to stellar abundances, from the star-planet connection to galactic archeology. But the projects I’m currently more involved in are characterizing exoplanet hosting M dwarf stars. Now, with JWST, we can study exoplanet atmospheres with the best precision to date. And part of the fundamentals to knowing the exoplanets is knowing their host stars very well.

4. Can you describe how you balance work and personal life, and what advice would you give to someone just starting in the field?

My advice (in one word) is discipline. Try to organize your daily routine to have time for working, leisure, and spending time with your family. Eating healthy is also fundamental!

5. Can you share with us a unique hobby or interest that you have outside of work?

I enjoy doing outdoor sports, such as surfing, skating, climbing, and similars, and playing with my son. For me, I feel that constant contact with nature relaxes me and keeps me healthy!

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