Orsola De Marco (born 1971) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is internationally renowned for her research into planetary nebulae and their central stars. The main body of her work challenges the traditionally held hypothesis that they are the result of post-giant, single star revolution, and instead focuses on the notion that they may instead be the product of binary interaction. Previously, she has held positions at University College London and the American Museum of Natural History, and has contributed to over 200 academic works.


Orsola De Marco was born in Verona, Italy, on October 24th 1971 to a law student mother and barrister father. At the age of five, after the separation of her parents, her mother and her moved to Bologna. She attended the United World College of the Adriatic, in which she focused on the sciences and from which she graduated in 1990. She then went on to attend University College London, where she received an undergraduate degree in Astrophysics, graduating in 1994. Under Mark Barlow and Peter Storey, she completed her PhD in London at the same university in 1997. After this, she briefly lived and worked in Zurich with her husband, Nic and ultimately went on to live in New York City for ten years, working at the American Museum of Natural History. In 2009, she accepted a position at Macquarie University and moved to Sydney, and is currently (2013) on a Future Fellowship Grant from the Australian Research Council, working on a project entitled "A technique to understand stellar mergers in the era of time-domain astrophysics."

Personal Life

She married her husband Nic, in an a-religious ceremony in 1995. They have two children, and currently reside in Sydney. She is an avid sailer, owning her own boat and having been an instructor in Scotland for three months before undertaking her PhD. She has also taught children since moving to Sydney.


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