Beatriz Villarroel

Natural Sciences Advisory Board

Dr. Beatriz Villarroel is a researcher in astronomy at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita) in Stockholm. She leads the Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) project ( and the EXOPROBE project. The VASCO project searches for vanishing stars with the help of automated methods as well as a citizen science project. Among the most interesting results from the VASCO project are the findings of anomalous “multiple transients” of unknown origin. EXOPROBE, that is a recently launched project, aims to find and locate an extraterrestrial probe in the Solar System. In 2012, Beatriz Villarroel received a Crafoord scholarship for young astronomers from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her research about quasars. In 2021, Beatriz Villarroel won the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science prize in Sweden for the VASCO project. In 2022, she was selected as one of 15 world-wide L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science “International Rising Talents”. In 2023, she gave a TEDx talk in Zurich on the topic “Why we should search for alien artifacts”. In September 2023, she received Heterodox Academy’s Open Inquiry Award for Courage.




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