About Me

I am a theoretical physicist studying the specific signatures of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and many of its extensions, either in vacuum or coupled to various types of matter, on astrophysical phenomena. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the supervision of Nico Yunes , Mavis Future Faculty Fellow (MF3) , and have a Junior Researcher position at Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz (Colombia).

  • Afilliations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)
    Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz (COL)
  • Email: ac54 [at] illinois [dot] edu

  • Photos by: Alejandro Ochoa ( Photo8A )



I was born in Bogotá (Colombia) where I earned a B.Sc. in Mathematics at Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz and concurrently earned a B.Sc. in Physics at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where I also acquired a M.Sc in Astronomy. Before going to UIUC, I earned a M.Sc in Physics at the eXtreme Gravity Institute.


B.Sc. in Mathematics

Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz

Summa Cum Laude


M.Sc. in Astronomy

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Magna Cum Laude


B.Sc. in Physics

Universidad Nacional de Colombia



M.Sc. in Physics

Montana State University



My Computational Skills

Experience in High Performance Computing (HPC) on large scale computing systems in Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and in Hyalite High-Performance Computing System.

My coding confidence:















My work focuses on the specific signatures of Einstein's general relativity and some of its extensions, on astrophysical phenomena. The research avenue that I am following is based on theoretical investigations of more general solutions, through the electromagnetic and gravitational spectrum, to understand gravity and some of its observables.

-> On the electromagnetic side, I study numerically the high energy phenomena around these compact objects by modeling accretion disks, images, and spectra. In particular, I am studying our current ability to constrain and detect deviations from general relativity using the accretion disk spectrum of stellar-mass black holes in binary systems.

-> On the gravitational-wave side, I am currently developing analytic, ready-to-use models to study the orbital dynamics and GWs emitted by generic extreme mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) in order to understand integrability of quadratic modified theories of gravity. As our preliminary results in dynamical Chern-Simons suggest that it may exist a fourth constant of motion, we are currently understanding its importance and impact on the construction of inspiral waveforms to test GR.

With these type of results at hand, we also want to understand and learn how to use the complementarity of these two techniques to test GR. Here you can find links to some of my papers for further details:

The First Latin American Conference on Astrophysics and Relativity (LACAR)

I am currently co-organizing the First Latin American Conference on Astrophysics and Relativity ( LACAR ). The spirit of this conference is to offer a connection between the community that works in General relativity and the astrophysics community of high energies and compact objects, and at the same time to (re)establish connections with the scientific community of Latin American physicists and astrophysicists among them and with the rest of the international community. Join us!


Outreach Initiatives

In addition to research, I am interested in outreach and astronomy education. In 2009 I started with Nelson Vargas an astronomy outreach group ( Astro-K ) at the Konrad Lorenz University, to spread interest and enthusiasm for astronomy to the general public. We have prepared festivals, public talks, radio programs and courses. During the summer of 2012 I did an internship with the European Union Universe Awareness ( EU-UNAWE ) educational programme at the Department of Astronomy of Leiden University in the Netherlands, where I did research on Open Educational Repositories, public outreach initiatives and astronomy development evaluations under the supervision of Pedro Russo .

Collaborator Since 2018

Latin American Webinars on Physics (LAWPhysics)

A cycle of webinars to connect physicists working on particle and high-energy physics, astroparticles, and astrophysics.

Symmetry Magazine wrote about us here.

Author Since 2019

Astrobites in Spanish (Astrobitos)

Astrobitos is a periodical astrophysical literature journal written in Spanish by graduate students. Our goal is to present interesting papers in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.

Organizer since 2017

Astronomy on Tap (AoT)

Since 2017 I have hosted Astronomy on Tap events (AoT) in Bozeman (AoT-BZN) in Bogotá (AoT-BOG). AoT consists of a series of short, free, public astronomy-related presentations in a bar. Each FREE event features accessible, engaging science presentations on topics ranging from planets to black holes to galaxies to the beginning of the Universe.

0 Honors, Awards and Travel Grants (~$12,000)
0 Organized
Outreach Events
0 Cups of

Let's Collaborate


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