Lauren Weiss
Trottier Post-Doctoral Fellow at Université de Montréal

April 2018

Lauren Weiss

Astrophysicist Lauren Weiss, an alumna of the 2005 LLE Summer High School Research Program, is the leader of an international research team that has just announced a major finding about exoplanets that could be suitable for life. Based on observations of over 900 exoplanets using the Kepler Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, her team has discovered that exoplanets orbiting the same star tend to have similar sizes and a regular orbital spacing, in contrast to our solar system. Details on this discovery can be found here.

Lauren was recognized as a semifinalist in the Intel (now Regeneron) Science Talent Search for her work at LLE on identifying and classifying defects in cryogenic fusion targets. She obtained a B.A. at Harvard in 2010, an M. Phil. at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, England in 2011, and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016, all in astronomy. She is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Montreal Institute for Research in Exoplanets. She conceived a Lidar imaging spectrometer that can be used to explore the geological and organic history of solar system worlds. Her many activities in public outreach include writing a series of articles for astrobites.com, developing an exoplanet detection workshop for fifth graders, serving as an observatory star tour guide, and writing a one-act play about dark matter.