Duilia de Mello is an astrophysicist, a professor of Physics and Astronomy and a Science popularizer. She is a world-renowned scientist, has extensive teaching and mentoring experience, passion for knowledge and has been actively involved in empowering female students around the globe. Dr de Mello started working at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 2003 as a research associate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, joined the Physics Department as faculty in 2008. She is now a tenured professor in the Physics Department where she teaches Astronomy and Physics. She has a PhD from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her field of work is extragalactic astronomy and she is an specialist in galaxy evolution using the Hubble Space telescope. In 2013 she was named one of the 10 Women changing Brazil by Barnard College-Columbia University. She was recently named the 2013 Professional of the Year for her work in the field of technology, information, and communication by the Brazilian Government. She was featured among the 100 most influential Brazilians by the Epoca Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fossil hunting on the beaches of Florida and writing books for kids.


  • Tenured professor at Catholic University of America (CUA) Physics Department, in Washington DC 
  • Joined CUA in 2003 as a HST Research Associate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In 2008 she joined the faculty at CUA's Physics Department and became an Associate Professor.
  • Visitor Scientist at Johns Hopkins University. 
  • Spent three years at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden as an Assistant Professor (2000-2003).  
  • Post-doctoral fellow at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore from 1997-1999.
  • Post-doctoral fellow at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile and National Observatory in Rio, Brazil, from 1995-1997. 
  • PhD from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and two Master's degrees, one from the University of Alabama and one from the Institute of Space Research (INPE) in Brazil.
  • Bachelors's degree in Astronomy from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
  • Author and co-author of more than 150 scientific articles (Google Scholar link)
  • On her pastime she is also a blogger and a Science Popularizer. She has written many articles and a book dedicated to motivate young brazilian students to become scientists. She is currently trying to publish a book for kids (age 6 to 8) - check preview
  • Born in Jundiai, SP, Brazil, but I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, the marvelous city!
  • Educational Background
    B.A., Astronomy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1985
    M.Sc., Radio Astronomy, Brazilian Space Agency, INPE, 1988
    M.Sc., Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 1993
    Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Sao Paulo, 1995
    Thesis advisor: Ronaldo de Souza
    Thesis: Mixed Pairs of Galaxies

Duilia & JWST

In front of the Carina Nebula at the Hubble Institute and behind the JWST model