A/Professor Praino

A/Prof Rodrigo Praino
Associate Professor of Politics and Public Policy, Flinders University

Dr Rodrigo Praino is Associate Professor of Politics and Public Policy at Flinders University’s College of Business, Government and Law. He is a political scientist with expertise in decision-making and political behaviour, who has published extensively in top peer-reviewed academic journals in the Social Sciences. His research has attracted funding from a wide range of sources, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Australian Commonwealth, and the Canadian government. It uses a cutting-edge combination of experiments, statistical modelling, and real-world data to explain social and political phenomena. He is interested in space politics and space policy, with particular focus on the importance of space assets for defence, economic development, international relations and decision-making.


A/Prof Alice Gorman
Associate Professor, College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University

Dr Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology. Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, space habitats, rocket launch pads and antennas. She also is a heritage consultant with over 25 years’ experience working with Indigenous communities in Australia. In collaboration with NASA and Chapman University, she is conducting the first archaeological study of the International Space Station. Gorman is a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia, a Board Member of the JustSpace Alliance, and a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2020-2021 she serves as a mentor in the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs Space4Women Network, which aims to address the Sustainable Development Goals by increasing the participation of women and girls in space. Her book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019) won the NIB Literary Award People’s Choice for Non-Fiction and the John Mulvaney Book Award.


Dr Ottorino Cappelli
Senior Researcher, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Dr Ottorino Cappelli is Senior Researcher at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” (Italy), where he teaches Political Science and Comparative Politics. Since 2018 he is also the Director of the MA in “Governance of the processes of internationalisation and communication” at Link Campus University in Rome, Italy. He conducted research and teaching activities at the State and Law Department of the University of Moscow M. V. Lomonosov (1989); the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies of Columbia University (1989-90); the Center for Russian Studies of Harvard University (1991); the Emmanuel College of Cambridge University (1993); and from 2010 to 2015 he was Scholar in Residence at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, City University of New York.


Marco Aliberti
Senior Research Fellow, European Space Policy Institute (ESPI)

Marco Aliberti is Senior Research Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria, where he has carried out and published a number of research projects – including five books and dozens of position papers, public reports and conference proceedings – providing European decision-makers with informed analysis and advice on a broad range of space policy issues. His research focus areas cover governance and space security issues, access to space and exploration, and Asia’s space programmes, particularly those of China, Japan and India.

Matteo Cappella
Operations Manager, Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)

Matteo Cappella is Operations Manager at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in Vienna (Austria), where he contributes to run a global organization while enabling students and young professionals around the world to grow, be heard and thrive in the space sector. Passionate about space policy, he previously worked at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), conducting research activities on the concept and measurement of Spacepower, as well as on the European space entrepreneurial environment. He holds an MA in International Politics and Economic Relations.

Pic Flinders - Short Bio

Francesco Maria Villani
Research Assistant to the Comparative Politics Chair, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Francesco Maria Villani holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies. In July 2020, he graduated summa cum laude from “L’Orientale” University in Naples with a thesis on the comparative analysis of autocratization episodes in the early 21th century. In September 2020, he was awarded a scholarship from the “Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies” for attending a course in Political Philosophy. His major research interests are in the field of comparative politics, political theory and international relations.

Diogo Quental
PhD candidate, Flinders University

Diogo Quental is a mechanical engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering, with years of experience in industry and academia, including in the space industry. He currently is a PhD candidate in Political Science and International Relations at Flinders University. Diogo’s PhD research focuses on exploring the geopolitics of space, particularly in great power competition. His main research interests are in geopolitics, astropolitics, space policy and defence.