Eight Early-Career Scientists Awarded 51 Pegasi b Fellowship

The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce this year’s 51 Pegasi b Fellowship recipients. The eight early-career scientists were selected based on their outstanding research achievements, innovative research plans, and potential to impact the field of planetary astronomy.

Launched by the Foundation in 2017, the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship provides exceptional early-career scientists with the opportunity to conduct theoretical, observational, and experimental research in planetary astronomy. Each recipient will receive a three-year grant of up to $385,000 to pursue their proposed research at their selected host institution.

To date, the Heising-Simons Foundation has awarded 42 fellowship grants. This year’s fellows join a worldwide 51 Pegasi b community that meets and communicates frequently to share research progress, discuss the latest ideas, findings, and theories in the field, and to support each other in their professional development.

The Foundation extends its warmest congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Paul Dalba, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Research Interests: Leading expansive research programs to map unknown parameters of massive exoplanets and identify underlying mechanisms that impact planetary system formation.
  • Leonardo Krapp, University of Arizona
    Research Interests: Circumventing complex problems in planet formation theory by producing novel computational simulations of gas and dust dynamics.
  • Brittany Miles, University of Arizona
    Research Interests: Benefitting the future of exoplanet observation by studying comparable signatures in brown dwarf atmospheres and testing detector technologies to find Earth-like planets.
  • Malena Rice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Research Interests: Guiding a sweeping search for distant solar system objects with novel observation and automation techniques to expose planetary system origins.
  • Eva Scheller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Research Interests: Determining the fate of water on Mars to delineate key differences in the geological processes and habitability among terrestrial planets.
  • Shreyas Vissapragada, Harvard University
    Research Interests: Elucidating the evolution of gas-rich exoplanet atmospheres with precise observations of outflowing helium.
  • J.J. Zanazzi, University of California, Berkeley
    Research Interests: Predicting the ways planets perturb their birthplace environments to understand the chaotic processes that sculpt exoplanetary systems.
  • Michael Zhang, University of Chicago
    Research Interests: Catching exoplanets in the process of losing their atmospheres with ground observatories and space telescopes to determine their next phase of evolution.
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