Dahbia Talbi Lecture

20 November 2019


Image: The southern Milky Way above ALMA. Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

The southern Milky Way above ALMA. Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi


A public lecture by Professor Dahbia Talbi, Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, University of Montpellier, France

A surprisingly rich chemistry occurs in space, as evidenced by the discovery so far of nearly 200 different molecules in the interstellar medium and in stellar atmospheres. How do astronomers identify molecules in space? In which environments are they found? How are these molecules formed? What does this tell us about the places where they are found? How does astrochemistry connect to astrobiology? 

In this public lecture, Professor Talbi will provide answers to these intriguing questions.

Dahbia Talbi is a theoretical chemist, who began her career in 1988 with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). She was introduced to astrochemistry during her PhD thesis and has since continued in this field, conducting her research at the interface of chemistry, physics and astrophysics.

After 12 years in the Astrophysics Laboratory of the “Ecole Normale Supérieur de Paris”, she moved to the University of Nice to initiate and develop astrochemistry research. In 2004 she joined the Cosmochimistry Group of the Museum of Natural History of Paris and in 2006 decided to create her own group of astrochemistry in the Stellar Physics laboratory of Montpellier. She was promoted CNRS Senior Investigator (Directrice de Recherche au CNRS) in 2009 and took the head of the Stellar Physics research group of Montpellier in 2010 for four years.

Her first visit to UWA was in 1998, at the invitation of Professor Graham Chandler. Her current visit is her eighth, within a collaboration that includes (since 2013) Dr. A. Karton and Dr. D. Spagnoli from the UWA School of Molecular Sciences. Her interest in interstellar and stellar chemistry includes gas-phase processes, ice catalyzed reactions and grain formation mechanisms.