She uses some of theworld’s largest telescopes to study the leftover material around young stars, looking for signs that planets might be forming from it. She also studies how to improve numerical skills in college students through introductory science courses for non-majors. In her free time, Kate likes to run, ski, orienteer and read.
Amanda works with cosmological simulations to understand galaxy evolution, star formation, and the intergalactic medium.
I am a postdoctoral researcher at Steward Observatory. I’ve been here for four years now, and it’s a great job — I have the freedom to follow my interests and have opportunities to observe with the best telescopes on the highest mountains (and sometimes from space!). My research focusses on galaxy evolution and interactions in dense environments – I am currently conducting a large spectroscopic survey of galaxies using the telescope on Mt. Hopkins. I also work up at the Mt Lemmon SkyCenter, where I lead public observing nights with one of the world’s largest telescopes dedicated to outreach and education – it’s a very rewarding job, because visitors are really amazed with what they can see through the telescope , and it’s really fun to make people understand just how vast and weird our Universe is! In my spare time, I mostly hang out with my 1yr old, who is also vast and weird and wonderful.
Her research focuses on exoplanets and their host stars, particularly what the composition of host stars can tell us about planet formation and evolution. She uses high resolution, high signal-to-noise optical spectroscopy to measure different elemental abundance ratios in stars…which means she gets to go to big telescopes high up and travel to amazing places in the process. Johanna was drawn into astronomy through chemistry, and in fact as a child she aspired to be a nuclear particle physicist (lots of books about Marie Curie). Since then she realized she loves observing and being at/working with telescopes, and the potential of astronomy to answer the question, “Are we alone?” When she isn’t researching, Johanna likes to educate and engage students of all ages in science and math, especially when it involves getting messy and/or doing experiments. She also likes baking for similar reasons. Her role models include Ellie Arroway, Ms. Frizzle, her mom, and her undergraduate thesis advisor Dr. Alycia Weinberger.
I am currently a postdoc, though not too long ago, I was a gradstudent here. My undergraduate degree is in physics from Purdue University. I study galaxy evolution in groups and clusters (mostly in the optical and infrared), with a specific focus on how environment affects star formation. What I’m most interested in, however, are the active black holes at the centers of galaxies and how they affect their hosts. In my spare time, I read, write, and draw sci-fi/fantasy; play RPGs; and bake desserts. I also breed reptiles and am a trained Weather Spotter for the National Weather Service