Chiara Mingarelli has a pretty sweet gig. As the Marie Curie Fellow at Caltech, Mingarelli gets to hunt for gravity waves down the hall from some of the luminaries in the field. She was there when the recent, historic detection of kilohertz-frequency gravity waves by the LIGO experiment was announced. And she is working on detecting nanohertz-frequency waves, using distant pulsars instead of Earth-bound lasers.
Long before she got to her current position, Mingarelli was a child in small-town Ontario, looking up at the sky. This is the story of how she got hooked on physics.