Institute of Astronomy

- Lorenzo Pica Ciamarra


Office: Hoyle H26
Office Tel: (01223) 337511
More Info (Internal)


Research Themes: Star Formation and Exoplanets

Research Keywords: Planets, Theory


My research interests lie in the theoretical study of potentially habitable exoplanets, with a focus on hycean worlds.

In particular, I am now working at the intersection of exoplanetary sciences and theoretical condensed matter physics, studying the thermodynamic and transport properties of Ice X, a high-pressure phase of water ice found in the interior of hycean planets.

I also mantain an interest in fundamental theoretical physics, albeit this is currently outside of my research focus.



  • PhD in Astronomy - Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge (2023 - present)
  • M.A.St. in Applied Mathematics ("Part III Maths") - DAMTP, University of Cambridge (2022-23).
    • Examined on: General Relativity (Prof Warnick); The Standard Model (Prof Quevedo); Quantum Field Theory (Prof Dorey); Cosmology (Prof Sherwin); Extrasolar Planets: Atmospheres and Interiors (Prof Madhusudhan). Part III Essay on The Wavefunction of the Universe (Prof Hartnoll).
  • BSc in Astrophysics - Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCL (2019-22).
    • From the end of my second year until I left UCL, I extensively collaborated - initially within a Brian Duff Studentship - with the local exoplanets group, under the supervision of Prof Tinetti and Dr Changeat.
  • Pre-university education: Liceo Classico Statale Vittorio Emanuele II, Napoli, IT (2014-19)

Awards and Prizes

  • 2022: William Bragg Prize (best overall undergraduate, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL); Dean's List (top 5% of graduating students, Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, UCL); UCL Observatory Student of the Year Award (highest marks in 2nd and 3rd year practical astronomy modules).
  • 2021: Huggins Prize (best performance in 2nd year astrophysics, UCL Dpeartment of Physics and Astronomy), Faculty Undergraduate Scholarship for Excellence (most outstanding 2nd year undergraduate in the faculty).
Page last updated: 7 December 2023 at 19:11