Headshot Credit: Jen Shook / NGS

Headshot Credit: Jen Shook / NGS

Hi! I'm Antonella. I'm a PhD student at the Contextual Robotics Institute at UC San Diego, and a National Geographic Explorer.

I'm interested in enabling robots to explore extreme environments, especially underwater environments, with the goal of better understanding and protecting our planet. My research focuses on vision-based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) for underwater multi-robot systems. I'm also interested in disaster/search-and-rescue robots, bio-inspired robotics, and soft robotics.

I am grateful to be a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and to receive additional support through a Sloan Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Minority PhD program. My work is funded in part by grants and other support from the National Geographic Society, The Explorers Club, Blue Robotics, and others.

Curriculum Vitae • Technical Resume

Contact Me

If you'd like to get in touch or collaborate, send me an email at awilby@eng.ucsd.edu.

Photography & Science Communication

In addition to my technical work, I am an avid photographer, and use photography and other media to communicate the importance of science and conservation to a broad audience. You can see some samples of my photographic work on my photography page.


When I'm not in the lab, I'm on an outdoor adventure, camera in hand. I love being on a mountain, under the sea, or anywhere else surrounded by nature. Among many other activities, I enjoy backpacking, bicycle touring, caving, and SCUBA diving. On the rare occasions when I am not in the lab, in the field, or lost in the wilderness, I also enjoy playing the cello and piano and working on old automobiles.