Dr. Miriani Griselda Pastoriza was a pioneer in the study of what she and her PhD advisor Dr. José Luiz Sersic called "peculiar nuclei" of galaxies, back in 1965. These galaxies became known in the literature as Sersic-Pastoriza galaxies, and are galaxies that present luminous nuclear regions of recent star formation, mostly n barred galaxies. Most of them are classified today as Starburst galaxies. The imaging and spectroscopic observations were obtained at the Cordoba Observatory, A rgentina, which had at the time one of the largest telescopes of the southern hemisphere (1.6m). Dr. Pastoriza also pioneered the study of nuclear activity in galaxies, as, in her observations of NGC1566, also during the 1960's, she discovered that the broad component of the Hβ emission line was varying. Most of her colleagues at the Cordoba Observatory did not believe her and this is why the work reporting the discovery appeared only in 1970, as a Letter to the Astrophysical Journal Letters. After having the opportunity to spend some time at the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, as well as at the University of Texas, she went back to obtain her PhD, and get her first job, teaching at the University of Cordoba. In 1976, during the military dictatorship in Argentina, thousands of professors were expelled from Argentinian Universities, and she was forced to leave the country. Accepting to an invitation from Professor Edemundo da Rocha Vieira to be a visitor professor at our Institute (Instituto de Física da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, IF-UFRGS), she arrived at Porto Alegre in 1978.

Too bad for Argentina, great for us! Dr. Pastoriza was hired by IF-UFRGS to further develop the then recently created research group in astrophysics at the Astronomy Department. The instrument to be used was a 50 cm telescope equipped with a photoelectric photometer. Even though having to change her scientific area of research to begin a new one in stellar photometry, this early work at the Institute resulted in several publications in international journals in the 80´s. Relevant contributions from this epoch are the metallicity gradient of the globular cluster system of the Milky Way and its chemical evolution, the topic of the Masters dissertation of her first graduate student, Eduardo Bica. Between 1986 and 1991, observational missions at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory allowed her to restart the research on the nuclear activity of galaxies. This was the topic of my (Thaisa Storchi Bergmann) PhD thesis, her first. Since then, she worked also in the investigation of the interstellar medium of elliptical galaxies, of interactions between galaxies, as well as in the infrared spectral energy distribution of active galaxies, investigating both the properties of the emitting gas and stellar population. Finally, she has done some work also in galaxy clusters. From 1980 to 2010, Dr. Pastoriza was the head of the astrophysics research group of IF-UFRGS, advised 11 PhD's and 15 MSc students, and played important roles in the Brazilian astronomy, in particular on the development of important international partnerships, such as the Gemini and SOAR projects.

In this conference, our ambitious goal is to discuss recent developments on the broad range of subjects Dr. Pastoriza has worked on during her career. We have devised a program which addresses recent developments in 4 main topics: (I) Stars and Stellar Clusters; (II) Stellar Population in Galaxies; (III) Galactic Nuclei; and (IV) Galaxy Interactions and Clusters. In topic I we shall address the most recent results on the properties of stars in the Milky Way bulge and a census of stellar clusters distributed over the disk of the galaxy. In topic II, we shall begin by reviewing resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies, to then move to integrated stellar population in farther galaxies, discussing the most recent results on spectral synthesis. In topic III, we will focus the discussion on starburst and active galactic nuclei and their interaction with the host galaxies via gas inflows and outflows. Finally, we shall address nearby galaxies interactions and galaxy clusters. Thaisa Storchi Bergmann, for the SOC
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Thaisa Storchi Bergmann (Chair, IF-UFRGS, BR)
Eduardo Bica (IF-UFRGS, BR)
Beatriz Barbuy (IAG-USP, BR)
Roberto Cid Fernandes (UFSC, BR)
Alberto R. Ardila (LNA, BR)
Robert (Bob) Williams (STScI, US)
Bradley Peterson (OSU, US)
Danielle Alloin (OAMP, FR)
Elena Terlevich (INAOE, MX)
Rosa M. González Delgado (IAA, ES)
Juan José Clariá (UNCOR, AR)
Paulina Lira (DAS-UCHILE, CL)


Rogério Riffel (Co-Chair)
Charles Bonatto
Maria de Fátima Saraiva
José Eduardo Costa
Daniela Borges Pavani
Isabel Aleman
Eduardo Balbinot
Natacha Zanon Dametto
Guilherme Couto
Jáderson Schimoia
Daniel Ruschel Dutra


For more informations write to: wmgp@if.ufrgs.br