Welcome to Cristina Masoller homepage

I am Associate Professor of Physics at UPC in the Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers research group.

I am interested in nonlinear photonics, dynamical complex systems, interdisciplinary physics and time series analysis.

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o   Wikipedia page, August 2016

o   OSA Fellow 2016



o   Emergence of spike correlations in periodically forced excitable systems. Phys. Rev. E, September 2016

o   Unravelling the community structure of the climate system by using lags and symbolic time-series analysis. Scientific Reports, July 2016



Semiconductor laser lab

Click on the images to download recent papers on optical rogue waves, optical spikes, optical turbulence transition, ISI correlations in FitzHugh-Nagumo model, network reconstruction from data, directionality in climate networks (click for video) and climate communities



I am interested in dynamical complex systems: systems that evolve in time, which are composed by interacting nonlinear elements. My research is aimed at:

extracting new information from observed data (for understanding underlying phenomena, identification of transitions and interactions, etc.)

exploiting nonlinear dynamics for innovative applications.


Here is the list of my publications (pdf files available) and here, a few selected publications. Here is my CV (updated April 2016).


Research lines:

      Nonlinear dynamics of lasers: semiconductor lasers (laser diodes); optical rogue waves; optical spikes; synchronization and time-delays.

      Time-series analysis: symbolic ordinal analysis, temporal correlations in models of spiking neurons (FitzHugh Nagumo, integrate-and-fire); complex networks and network inference from data (Kuramoto oscillators, chaotic electronic circuits, logistic maps, etc).

      Climate data: directionality of climate interactions; nonlinear atmospheric response to solar forcing; large-scale climate communities.


Semiconductor lasers and climate data analysis might seem unrelated research fields; however, we exploit the experimental laser setup for recording time-series under controllable conditions, which allow for testing novel data analysis tools. Semiconductor lasers with optical feedback generate complex intensity fluctuations (neither fully random, nor fully regular) that involve a wide-range of time-scales; thus, they are appropriate for testing novel data analysis tools (of classification, for the identification of recurrent patterns, for identifying signatures of determinism, etc.).



I teach undergraduate courses at The School of Industrial, Aeronautical and Audiovisual Engineering of Terrassa (ESEIAAT) and a graduate course at the Barcelona Master in Photonics. Here is more information about my teaching activities (including slides of lectures in English).



      ICREA ACADEMIA award (Engineering Sciences, 2016-2020).

      ITN BE-OPTICAL (H2020 675512, 2015-2019). Within this project, which I coordinate, my research is aimed at developing novel semiconductor-based light sources and data analysis tools for biomedical applications.

      Research in semiconductor laser dynamics is funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación through grant FIS2015-66503-C3-2-P (2015-2017).

      Research in climate data analysis was funded by the ITN LINC that I coordinated (FP7 289447, 2011-2015).

      Research in neuron-like optical spikes was partially funded by ITN NETT (FP7 289146, 2012-2016).

Here is more information about my projects.


People involved

I am a member of the research group on Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers. Here is a list of present and former undergrads, PhD students and postdocs and image gallery.


Conferences, workshops, seminars, schools

Here is a list of events that I have attended, including presentations and photos.

Here is the list of the events that I have co-organized and here is the list of the proceedings.



I received my Bachelor (1989) and MSc (1991) degrees in physics from Universidad de la República, Uruguay. I received my PhD (1999) degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College (BMC), Pennsylvania, USA. My PhD thesis was on Nonlinear Dynamics in Semiconductor Lasers with Optical Feedback, supervised by Prof. Neal B. Abraham. Before joining UPC in 2004, from 1986 to 2004 I was Associate Professor at the Instituto de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay, where I still have many friends and collaborators (you might have noticed that I keep my web page in Uruguay). At UPC I was a Ramon and Cajal researcher (2004-2009).


Honors and Awards

ICREA ACADEMIA (2010-2014 and 2016-2020)

Fellow of the Optical Society (2016)


Member of professional societies

I am a member of the European Physical Society (EPS), the Optical Society (OSA), the Catalan network COMPLEXITAT.CAT and the Spanish network IBERSINC II. I am vice chair of the IUPAP Commission on Laser Physics and Photonics and Spanish Representative in the COST Action MP1403 - Nanoscale Quantum Optics


Hobbies and other personal stuff

Here are some of my favourite photos.


Looking for an undergraduate project (TFG or TFM), a summer internship, a PhD project or a postdoc? Contact us!


Contact information

My office and the semiconductor laser lab are located at Gaia Building (map), UPC Campus Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain.

cristina.masoller @ upc.edu, cristina.masoller @ gmail.com

Colom 11, Terrassa 08222, Barcelona, Spain

Tel: (0034)937398507