Riccardo Giovanelli

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Riccardo Giovanelli (born 1946) is an Italian born astronomer. He works as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States.


Born in Italy, he spent his childhood years in western Argentina (in Mendoza and Tucuman) but returned with his family to Italy when he was ready to enter university. He studied physics first at the University of Parma and graduated with his laurea cum laude in physics from the University of Bologna in 1969. His parents, an amazing couple, were partisans during World War II. After graduation, he entered the graduate program at Indiana University as a Fulbright fellow and received his PhD in astronomy in 1976. He undertook his PhD research as a graduate student in residence at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1972 and 1973. From 1974 to 1976, he served as a civil volunteer teaching physics at the National University of El Salvador, in substitution of his Italian military service. Upon completion of his PhD, he joined the staff of the Arecibo Observatory of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center in Puerto Rico, eventually serving as head of the radio astronomy group as well as observatory site director.

Current activities[edit]

In 1991, he joined the faculty at Cornell as professor of astronomy. He is an expert in observational cosmology, galaxy evolution and the application of radio spectroscopy for studies of large scale structure and galaxy evolution. He has been the driving force behind the development of the Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope project of which he current serves as director. He is a principal scientist on the ALFALFA survey at Arecibo. He is also a strong proponent in support of science in developing countries in South America.

He is married to astronomer Martha Haynes.


In 1989 Giovanelli and Martha Haynes were awarded the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences for their work on mapping the local universe.[1]


  1. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 

External links[edit]