Alberto Vecchio is an astrophysicist, and founding director of the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy. His interests span the astrophysics of compact objects - black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs - and gravitational-wave observations across a wide frequency spectrum, e.g. using ground-based detectors such as LIGO, pulsar timing arrays and the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). He is a member of the LIGO Team that detected gravitational waves in September 2015 and discovered the first binary black hole merger. He is a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow and co-recipient of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.