Who are We?

the team

The PBSP team is based at the University of Cambridge. The team is led by Maria Ubiali, who is Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and is currently made of one postdoc, Luca Mantani, three PhD students, Manuel Morales Alvarado (3rd year), Mark Costantini and Elie Hammou (2nd year) and one Master student, Francesco Merlotti from UNIMI in Milan.

Maria Ubiali (Principal Investigator)

Maria Ubiali read Physics at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, gaining a First Class Honours degree in Theoretical Physics with a Masters’ thesis on the resummation of soft gluon radiation to all perturbative orders in QCD. In 2006 she moved to Edinburgh to study for a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics. In 2010, she obtained a joint doctoral degree from the University of Edinburgh and the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium with a PhD thesis on a novel approach in the determination of Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs) of the proton and its application to processes initiated by heavy quarks. Half-way though her PhD the first ever fit of PDFs of the proton using the NNPDF approach were presented. Since then she has been contributing to the progress and the development of the novel approach. Straight after her PhD, she moved to Aachen, Germany, for a postdoc, in which she worked on several projects devoted to charged Higgs production in models beyond the SM and to the study of the decay of new heavy unstable particles. 

In 2013, Maria moved to Cambridge, where she worked as post-doctoral research associate at the Cavendish Laboratory. In 2014 she was elected to a Senior Research Fellowship at Magdalene College. In October 2016 she became a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow and started her own independent research group. In 2017 she was awarded the Guido Altarelli Prize ”for seminal contributions to the understanding of the heavy-quarks dynamics and PDFs”. Later that year, she became Lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Sheila Edmonds Lecturer in Mathematics at Newnham College. Maria has been a convenor or member in various committees and working groups for the LHC, including the PDF4LHC, the Higgs Cross Section working group and the EFT LHC working group. 

Her work mostly focuses on QCD and collider physics, including SM and BSM phenomenology. Currently, her main interest lies in devising a robust statistically framework to globally interpret all subtle deviations from the SM predictions that might arise at the LHC, by means of EFT fits in which key ingredients, such as the PDFs of the proton and the other free parameters of theory are treated consistently. 

You can find her publications here.


Luca Mantani (Postdoc)

Luca is a Research Associate at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge. 

He studied physics at the University of Bologna graduating in 2017 and later studied his PhD at the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2021. 

Currently, his research is focused on the possibility to uncover New Physics indirectly at colliders within the SMEFT framework. He also has an interest in Dark Matter searches, with stress on indirect detection and collider production.

You can find his publications here

Manuel Morales Alvarado (PhD Student)

Manuel is a PhD student at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Dr. Maria Ubiali

He obtained his master’s degree in High Energy Physics at ETH Zürich and École Polytechnique Paris, and his bachelor’s degree in Physics at FCFM Universidad de Chile. 

His main research interests include particle physics phenomenology, QCD, physics beyond the Standard Model, effective field theories, and arbitrary spin formalism. 

You can find his publications here. His personal website is manuel-morales-a.github.io.


Elie Hammou (PhD Student)

Elie obtained a Bachelor degree from Lycée SaintLouis in 2017 and a Master from Ecole polytechnique in 2020 in France. He then came to the University of Cambridge to follow Part III of the Mathematical Tripos, as a member of the Churchill College. There he developed a keen interest about the Standard Model.

His main research interests are the physics beyond the SM, particle physics phenomenology and the interplay between two types of expansion strategies for the SM Lagrangian: the consideration of higher order operators given by Effective Field Theory and the inclusion of general
new particles.

You can find his publications here. His personal website is eliehammou.com.

Mark Costantini (PhD Student)

Mark is a PhD student at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. Maria Ubiali.

He previously worked for one year (09.2021-08.2022) as R&D engineer at Sensirion AG and received his master’s degree in theoretical physics from the University of Zurich on 08.2021.

Francesco Merlotti (MSc Student)

Francesco is a Master’s student at Università degli Studi di Milano, there he also obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2022 with a thesis in Quantum Optics.
He is currently in Cambridge to work on his Master thesis in High Energy Physics implementing the SIMUnet methodology under the supervision of Prof. Ubiali.
His main interests include high-energy particle physics, quantum field theory, Standard Model phenomenology, and Effective Field Theory as a tool to inspect Physics beyond the Standard Model.

Past members

James Moore (Postdoc)

James Moore read mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 2015 to 2019, taking a particular interest in theoretical physics as part of his masters year. He has since been a PhD student of Maria Ubiali in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, working on simultaneous determination of parton distribution functions and beyond the Standard Model effects.

Maeve Madigan (Postdoc)

Maeve studied theoretical physics in Trinity College Dublin, graduating in 2017. She then moved to Cambridge to complete Part III of the Mathematical Tripos before starting her PhD with Ben Allanach in the High Energy Physics group at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. 

Her research focuses on the search for physics beyond the Standard Model and includes collider physics, BSM phenomenology and the use of effective field theories to parametrise new physics effects.

Zahari Kassabov (Postdoc)

Zahari is a postdoc working at the PBSP. My main interest is the application of Machine Learning and advanced statistical techniques to the precise determination of parameters of the Standard Model and beyond.

Cameron Voisey (PhD Student)

Cameron studied Theoretical Physics at University College London between 2013 and 2017 before moving to Cambridge for a PhD in the Cavendish Laboratory under the supervision of Dr Maria Ubiali. His principal interests lie in the application of machine learning techniques to extract information about proton structure as well as in the search for new physics.

You can find his publications here

Shayan Iranipour (PhD Student)

Shayan Iranipour read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge specializing in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts. He then obtained a Master of Mathematics in 2019 after completing part III of the Mathematical tripos and has since been a PhD student in the High Energy Physics group at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics under the supervision of Dr Maria Ubiali.

His research interests include QCD and particle phenomenology, specifically using machine learning approaches to probe the internal proton structure and using effective field theory techniques to be able to extract possible beyond Standard Model signals from the proton content.




 The PBPS project acknowledges the support of the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Commission.