I am an astrophysicist working to understand our place in the Universe.
I study atmospheres, interior and formation of exoplanets and planets in our solar system.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was always curious and knew I was going to be a scientist. I got my B.S. in Astronomy in 2007 from La Plata National University and received my PhD in 2011, studying formation of planetary systems as a CONICET graduate Fellow. From 2011 to 2014 I was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, where I started studying chemistry in exoplanets’ atmospheres (rocky and giant planets). I was at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur between 2015 and 2017 (as a Henri Poincaré Postdoctoral Fellow and later a CNES Postdoctoral Fellow), studing the interior structure of giant planets and as a part of the Juno mission science team. This year (2018) I started as an assistant professor at Leiden Observatory where I will continue studying (exo)planet atmospheres and their interiors, towards a better understanding of their origins.
The uniqueness of the Earth is one of the most interesting and ancient questions. Throughout history we have wondered about the possible existence of worlds around other stars. We live in a privileged time, and for the first time in history we are able to answer that question. Since the first exoplanet discovered in 1995, there have been close to 3000 exoplanets found. Each new discovery highlights the stunning diversity of exoplanets and impacts on the perception and understanding of our own solar system. A better knowledge of exoplanets will lead us to understand how our own solar system formed, which are the conditions that best support life, and put our solar system in context in the Universe.
My main interests are the study of exoplanets atmospheres: chemistry and radiative transfer, planetary interiors and planetary (& satellites) systems formation.
- Juno is a NASA mission designed to reveil Jupiter's deep secrets. As part of the science team, I am using Juno measurements to get better understanding of Jupiter's internal structure and get closer to unveil our own origins. Here are our Juno papers showing the first peek of Juno to Jupiter's interior: Bolton+2017 (Science), Wahl+2017 (GRL), Kaspi+2017 (GRL) - Stay tuned for our 3 new upcoming papers (Nature)!!- When is phosphorous and sulfur chemistry important in exoplanet atmospheres? Can wew observe it with JWST? see our last paper: Wang, Miguel & Lunine, 2017 (ApJ)
- Are there clouds in hot rocky exoplanets? Mahapatra, Helling & Miguel, 2017 (MNRAS)
Upcoming Invited talks and Colloquia (where to find me?):
January 2018 - Colloquium: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
March 2018 - Invited talk: Circumplanetary Disks and Satellite Formation, Nagoya, Japan
May 2018 - Colloquium: Max Planck Insitute for Astronomy, Heildeberg, Germany
Invited talks and Colloquia during 2016 - 2017 (see CV for previous dates)
December 2017 - Invited review: Exoplanets and Planet Formation, Shanghai, China
November 2017 - Colloquium: University of Bordeaux, France
October 2017 - Colloquium: University of Aarhus, Denmark
July 2017 - Colloquium: National University of Asuncion, Paraguay
June 2017 - Colloquium: Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France
May 2017 - Colloquium: University of Leiden, The Netherlands
May 2017 - Invited talk: Nordita PTA program, Stockholm, Sweden
April 2017 - Invited review: The atmospheres of disks and planets, Ringberg Castle, Germany
February 2017 - Colloquium: University of Bern, Switzerland
February 2017 - Colloquium: University of Zurich, Switzerland
January 2017 - Colloquium: University of Oxford, UK
August 2016 - Colloquium: University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
June 2016 - Invited talk: 5th Joint Workshop on High Pressure, Planetary and Plasma Physics, Hamburg, Germany
May 2016 - Colloquium: Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
April 2016 - Colloquium: St. Andrews University, UK
March 2016 - Colloquium: Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, USA
March 2016 - Colloquium: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Research Interests: Exoplanet atmospheres: Chemistry and radiative transfer, Planetary interiors, Planetary systems formation.
Assistant Professor, Leiden Observatory - The Netherlands
2011 PhD Astronomy Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) - Argentina
2007 BS Astronomy UNLP - Argentina
Publications - 26 publications in peer-reviewed international journals. Total citations: 365 (as January 2018).
Employment, Research Experience & Awards
2016 – 2017 CNES postdoctoral fellowship – OCA – France
2015 – 2016 Henri Poincare Postdoctoral Fellow – OCA – France
Fall 2013 Guest-Lecturer “Astrophysics & Astrobiology II” – Universität Heidelberg – Germany
2011 – 2014 Postdoctoral Fellow – MPIA – Germany
2010 – 2011 Graduate Fellow, Type II – CONICET1– Argentina
2007 – 2009 Graduate Fellow, Type I – CONICET – Argentina
2005 – 2011 Educator, Science Coach – Mundo Nuevo2
2008 – 2010 Lecturer “Knowing the Universe” – UNLP – Argentina
2007 – 2011 Teaching Assistant “Spherical Astronomy” – UNLP – Argentina
2008 – 2009 Teaching Assistant “Calculus I” – UNLP – Argentina
2005 – 2007 Teaching Assistant “Modern Physics” – UNLP – Argentina
2005 – 2007 Teaching Assistant “Calculus I” – UNLP – Argentina
2007 Joaquin V. Gonzalez Award, to the best GPA – UNLP – Argentina
2001 – 2007 Museum Guide – Museum of Astronomy and Geophysics – UNLP
1National Council of Scientific and Technical Research. Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina
2Outreach program of science and technology. It is part of the UNESCO initiative, the UNLP, and the direction of culture and education of Buenos Aires
Teaching: I see teaching as a challenge and a way of learning. One needs to learn how to use student's backgrounds, and lead them to develop curiosity and critical thinking. I have been teaching from 2005 until 2011, and sporadically the last years. See my CV for teaching experience info.
Outreach: One important part of my development as a scientist has been to stimulate interest and curiosity for science, sharing my research with the community and inspiring future scientists. I have presented more than 20 invited public colloquia in the last 7 years and have been involved in numerous public activies since 2000:
2014 - 2015 Role Model in Science is a girl thing!, part of the “Women in Research and Innovation” campaign.
2005 - 2011. Science Coach in "Mundo Nuevo”, an outreach program of science and technology. It is part of UNESCO initiative, UNLP, and the direction of culture and education of Buenos Aires.
2008 - 2010. Coordinator and chair of science seminars. Handled 100% of the organization of weekly seminars for general public given at UNLP.
2001 - 2007. Museum Guide at the Museum of Astronomy and Geophysics of La Plata.
I swim since I am a kid, started running ~7 years ago, and recently added biking and bouldering to my list of frequent sports. I now combine all that -all but bouldering- and train for triathlons.
Why? Because doing sports is good! It is not only good for your health, but it also helps to release stress, to improve efficiency, and to have a fresher mind at work. It helps you solving problems.
In cold rainy days it can be hard to go outside and train. To help me with those days, I always setup a goal (often a competition I want to run), which besides of being super fun, keeps my motivation high :)
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands