Meet Africa’s Rare Female Astrophysicist Shaking Up Science



Zara Randriamanakoto, 35, PhD is from Madagascar is one of the few female astrophysicists in Africa and one of only two from her country.

This low key scientist is attached to the science division of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), in Cape Town, she is continuing her research to quantify the influence of the surrounding environment on the survival of these star clusters, to measure their brightness and to try to deduce their mass and their age, in order to better understand the mechanism of formation of the universe.

Zara holds a doctorate degree in Astronomy after completing her study at the University of Cape Town back in 2015. Her research interests focus on deep radio continuum surveys and multi-wavelength observations of young massive star clusters in interacting galaxies.  She is also passionate about science engagement, the promotion of Girls and Women in STEM, and especially the advancement of astronomy in all its aspects in Madagascar and the African continent.

She took up astrophysics thanks to the development of the largest radio telescope in the world in South Africa, the researcher hopes to develop her discipline in Madagascar and inspire young women in her country.

This scientist has been awarded by the L’Oréal-Unesco Foundation’s Young Talents Prize – Sub-Saharan Africa winners.

“We finally rewarded a Madagascan astrophysicist, Zara Randriamanakoto, whose objective is to quantify the influence of the surrounding environment on the disruption mechanisms of stellar clusters,” said the L’Oréal-Unesco Foundation.

2020 Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talents:


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