Liliana Caballero

Dr. Liliana Caballero
Assistant Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x52718
MacN 433D

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I obtained my BSc degree in Physics from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 1998. In 2002 I moved to the USA to pursue graduate studies and received my PhD in theoretical nuclear physics in 2008 from Indiana University.

After graduating from my PhD I was a visiting scientist in the Nuclear Theory Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory (summer of 2008). I was then a Research Associate at North Carolina State University (from 2008 to 2010), a Postdoctoral fellow in 2011 at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington. I moved to Germany in 2012 to join the ExtreMe Matter Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Darmstadt Technical University as a Postdoctoral fellow. I held a Research Associate position at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics at Michigan State University during the summer of 2013, and I have been at the University of Guelph since 2013.

I have been a lecturer at several institutions, including: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de Los Andes, Indiana University, the University of Washington, and the University of Guelph. I have also been employed at the International Center of Physics at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and developed Tsunami simulations at the Pacific Center for Pollution Control in Tumaco, Colombia.

  • Doctoral Training Program Fellowship, European Center for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas, “Physics of Compact Stars”, Trento, Italy, 2007.
  • Women in Science Program Award, Indiana University, 2007.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student in Theoretical Research Award, Physics Department, Indiana University, 2007.
  • Otto de Greiff National Competition, Best Undergraduate Thesis Project, Bogotá, Colombia: Second Position, 2000.
  • University-wide Competition, Best Undergraduate Thesis Project, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia: First Position, 1999.

My field of research is theoretical nuclear astrophysics. I am interested in the connection between nuclear forces and several phenomena observed in the Universe, such as the synthesis of heavy elements, the neutrino emission in core-collapse supernova and neutron star mergers, and bursts in accreting neutron stars. These phenomena occur under extreme temperature and density conditions, making these astrophysical environments excellent extraterrestrial labs to test our theories of the interaction between neutrons and protons. Additionally, the same sites involve large masses making gravity play a fundamental role. My research aims to expand our understanding of the interplay between neutrinos, nuclear interactions, and gravity in astrophysics.

Selected Publications

  • Unequal mass binary neutron star mergers and multimessenger signals, Luis Lehner, Steven L. Liebling, Carlos Palenzuela, O. L. Caballero, Evan O'Connor, M. Anderson, D. Neilsen, arXiv:1603.00501, 2016.
  • Neutrino Spectra from Accretion Disks: General Relativistic Effects and the Consequences for Nucleosynthesis. O. L. Caballero, G. C. McLaughlin and R. Surman,, ApJ 745,170, 2012.
  • Thermal Conductivity of the Crust of Accreting Neutron Stars. C. J. Horowitz, O. L. Caballero, D. K. Berry,, Phys. Rev. E, 79, 026103, 2009.
Name Role
Bryn Knight MSc Candidate
Rajan Anderson Dornan MSc Candidate
Liam Schmidt Undergraduate Research Student
Alexis McKendry Undergraduate Research Student


Graduate Students

  • Tyson Schilbach, MSc, University of Guelph
  • Jhoan Perez, PhD student, co-supervised with Neelima Kelkar, Universidad de Los Andes
  • Jose Daniel Trujillo, PhD student, co-supervised with Neelima Kelkar, Universidad de Los Andes

Undergraduate Students

  • Chandler Ross, NSERC USRA and 4th year project and 4th year project (04/2018-04/2019)
  • Matt Dutcher, summer undergraduate assistant and 4th year project (04/2018-04/2019)
  • Reem Mandil, summer undergraduate assistant, UBC (04/2018-08/2018)
  • Liam Graham, 4th Undergraduate student, University of Guelph (09/2017-04-2018)
  • Justin Medeiros, 4th Undergraduate student, University of Guelph (09/2017-04-2018)
  • Joel McBride, NSERC Summer Undergraduate Research Award (04/2012-08/2017)
  • Jeremiah Van Benthem, URA, Unioversity of Guelph (04/2017-08/2017)
  • Lauren Taylor, NSERC USRA (04/2015-08/2015)
  • Tash Zielinski, summer research project (04/2015-12/2015)
  • Ayman Mehta, 4th year project, University of Guelph  09/2014-04/2015)