NExScI Science Staff

Rachel Akeson

Research Interests: Rachel studies how stars and planets form using many techniques, particularly high angular resolution observations with interferometers from infrared to millimeter wavelengths. These observations probe the physical structure and evolution of the disks around young stars which serve as a conduit of material onto the star and are also the reservoir of material from which planetary systems form.

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Chas Beichman

Research Interests: Chas's research goals include searching for planets and evidence for planets such as debris disks around nearby young stars. Additionally, he is interested in understanding the formation and evolution of distant infrared-bright galaxies and their relationship to the Cosmic Infrared Background.

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Bruce Berriman

Research Interests: Bruce works on two types of science projects: (1) investigation of the application of information technology to astronomical data processing; and (2) discovery of brown dwarfs through archival research, especially through cross-matching large catalogs.

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Jessie Christiansen

Research Interests: Jessie is primarily involved in the detection and characterisation of transiting exoplanets. She has worked on the Vulcan South, UNSW, NASA EPOXI and most recently NASA Kepler projects, and will begin working on the NASA JWST mission, modelling observations of transiting exoplanets with NIRCam.

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David Ciardi

Research Interests: David has a long standing interest in study of exoplanets, young stellar objects and star formation. He is a member of the CoRoT and Kepler Follow-up observing teams. Working with his collaborators, he is working to understand the evolution and formation of exoplanets around young stars.

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Chris Gelino

Research Interests: Chris works on brown dwarfs--objects whose masses are between those of stars and planets. He is interested in the discovery and characterization of these cold objects through the use of ground-based and space-based telescopes. He is a member of the WISE Brown Dwarf team.

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Dawn Gelino

Research Interests: Dawn studies low-mass x-ray binaries (LMXBs) primarily in the IR and optical, from both ground and space, in order to measure the light coming from each of the components in these interacting systems, model the ellipsoidal variations from the secondary stars, and determine system parameters such as the mass of the compact objects in the systems.

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Shri Kulkarni

Research Interests: Shri has worked on millisecond pulsars, old neutron stars, young neutron stars, brown dwarfs, soft gamma-ray repeaters, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts and new types of optical transients. He loves surfing the electromagnetic spectrum and building new gizmos.

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Rafael Millan-Gabet

Research Interests: Rafael is the NASA Project Scientist for the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI). Previously he led the Science Operations System for the Keck Interferometer. His main research interests are in using high angular resolution techniques to study planet-forming disks around young stars and exozodical dust emission around nearby main sequence stars, as well as in developing state of the art instrumentation for optical long baseline interferometers. In addition to LBTI and KI, he has science and instrumentation collaborative projects at CHARA and VLTI

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Roberta Paladini

Research Interests: Roberta's current main research focus is on the properties and evolution of interstellar dust grains, which she investigates by coupling sub-millimeter emission with NIR extinction and scattering. The primary goal of this study is to understand how grains of typical sub-micron sizes can grow, in the densest parts of the Interestellar Medium and under the influence of turbulence, first into pebbles and ultimately into planets. Other fields of interest are HII regions, massive star formation, and Anomalous Microwave Emission (i.e. spinning dust).

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Josh Schlieder

Research Interests: Josh’s research focuses on low-mass stars near the Sun and the planets they host. These stars, the M dwarfs, comprise about 75% of the Galactic stellar content and provide unique opportunities for planet detection. Direct imaging observations provide access to gas-giants in the outskirts of M dwarf planetary systems. Transit observations reveal small planets close-in. Josh identifies M dwarf targets for imaging and transit planet searches, develops target lists, and pursues observations to identify, confirm, and characterize planets. The combination of multiple detection methods that are sensitive to different planet populations provides a comprehensive view of planet formation, evolution, and demographics around our most numerous stellar neighbors.

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Solange Ramirez

Research Interests: Solange's science projects involve the study of Young Stellar Objects at the Galactic Center by identifying their IR ice and spectral features, modeling their IR spectra, and determining their masses and luminosities.

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Julian van Eyken

Research Interests: Julian's research is primarily in exoplanet detection and characterization, currently with a particular focus on young planets and what they can tell us about how planets form and evolve. He has a background in instrumentation development and data characterization, and is closely involved with the ARCONS (Array Camera for Optical to Near-IR Spectrophotometry) team at UCSB, who are working on super-conducting MKID detector array technology for time- and energy-resolved photon imaging. He worked extensively on high-resolution spectrograph development with the NRES team at LCOGT, and previously worked on development the novel Dispersed Fixed-Delay Interferometry technique for radial velocity detection.

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