Press Release

Dr. Anna Ferré Mateu

The ICCUB astrophysicist Anna Ferré Mateu is selected by the Homeward Bound project

Published on 15.02.2021

  • Dr. Ferré-Mateu is one of the hundred researchers selected from around the world

  • Homeward Bound project is a transformational leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM from around the world

  • The program will conclude with a three-week on-board ship voyaging to Antarctica

Dr. Ferré-Mateu, researcher at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), will be part of the sixth program along with a hundred researchers. The 12-month program comprises lectures, personal and leadership development tools, coaching sessions, visibility, training and the opportunity to develop meaningful collaborations – in forums, in teams with a focus on areas of interest, and in small diverse cohorts ending with a three-week on-board ship voyaging to Antarctica.

‘For me this journey to Antarctica represents the challenges we face as individuals and as a society.', commented Dr. Ferré-Mateu. ' Before we can think about reaching new worlds, we need to start taking care of our own, and I hope that the tools learnt during this journey will have an impact on the way we do science. It is one of the greatest adventures ever and I’m just thrilled to be part of it!’, she added.

What is the Homeward Bound project?

The Homeward Bound project was created in Australia in 2016. This project aims to build a global collaboration of 1000 women with backgrounds in STEMM for over ten years so they have the opportunity to take up leadership roles globally and to proactively contribute to a sustainable world, both individually and collectively. They will be visible, collaborative, networked and impacting the decisions made in many quarters for the greater good.

Who is Dr. Ferré Mateu?

Dr. Ferré Mateu’s research has been focused on the study of the cosmic evolution of galaxies of different types. They are a crucial building block to constrain the current galaxy formation and evolution paradigm. Moreover, to some degree, they are also a crucial piece of understanding a bit better the most fundamental question of human beings: where do we come from?

For this, she has been studying the fossil record of the stars in galaxies, to understand how they were and how they have evolved over cosmic time, in a similar way an archaeologist would reveal how the ancient populations lived by examining their remains. This quest has taken her to live, literally, all around the globe: the Canaries, Hawaii and Australia. This has allowed her to carry her science in forefront facilities while enjoying the wonders of such places by doing her favourite hobbies such as surfing, diving, hiking and traveling. Since 2018, Dr. Ferré-Mateu holds a Postdoctoral Junior Leader Fellowship at our institute, where she is one of the members of the Galaxy Structure and Evolution research group.

Her contribution to disseminating science to younger generations and advocating for women equity has become a very important part of her work participating in chats and events like Chatea con una Astrónoma motivating young girls into pursuing STEM careers or being part of "Journey through the Universe" that brings astronomy to the classrooms in Hilo, Hawaii.

You can follow her journey to Antarctica on Twitter or Instagram on the hashtag #AnnetainAntarctica.hb6 and her Instagram account @annetainantarctica.hb6


Dr. Ferré Mateu’s website

Homeward Bound project

Institute of Cosmos Sciences

Outreach events


ICCUB Communication Office

Barcelona, Spain

Esther Pallares


Dr. Anna Ferré Mateu

Barcelona, Spain

Institute of Cosmos Sciences