Laura Donnay

Laura Donnay

Fellow, Black Hole Initiative
Laura Donnay


My recent research focuses on infinite-dimensional symmetries that arise in flat spacetimes and in the near horizon region of both extremal and non-extremal black holes. These extremely rich symmetries have proved to play a key role in our current understanding of black hole physics: for example, the thermodynamics and other physical phenomena occurring close to rapidly rotating black holes were shown to be governed by an infinite-dimensional algebra that includes the Virasoro algebra. Very recently, new surprising connections have been discovered between the infinite-dimensional symmetries of asymptotically flat spacetimes, the so-called BMS symmetries, and the infrared behavior of gravitational theories. The recent discovery of the existence of an infinite number of conserved charges carried by black holes gives rise to new exciting developments in the understanding of black hole information.

I obtained my Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) on the topic "Symmetries and dynamics for non-AdS backgrounds in three-dimensional gravity" under the supervision of Prof. Glenn Barnich. In 2016, I received a Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship to join the group of Prof. Andrew Strominger at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Since 2017, I have been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University.

Contact Information

20 Garden Street, Rm. 213
Cambridge, MA 02138


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