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Two New NExSS NPP Fellowships Awarded

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) is pleased to announce the award of two new postdoctoral fellowships to outstanding early-career researchers in support of interdisciplinary research across astrophysics and planetary science. The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellows, both of whom will be jointly-supervised by at least two NExSS teams, will take up their posts in 2017.

Eva Bodman received her PhD from the University of Rochester, where she used modelling techniques and observations to investigate and understand how unusual light curve variations could be caused by dynamical interactions within protoplanetary disks. Some of Eva’s previous work includes cometary models to explain some the behaviour of the enigmatic star KIC 8462852, also known as ‘Boyajian’s Star’. Jointly advised by Jason Wright at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Pennsylvania State University and Steve Desch at Arizona State University, her postdoctoral fellowship will continue this theme. She will be tasked with characterizing the dust shed by bodies near stars in order to better understand the diverse chemical composition of exoplanets.

Daniel Carrera will be joining Eric Ford’s team at Pennsylvania State University, but will also work closely with Rory Barnes at the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) at the University of Washington, and Sean Raymond (also a VPL member) who is based at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France. His PhD was awarded by Lund University in Sweden after successful defense of his research on the formation and early dynamical evolution of planetary systems, especially in the context of rocky planets in the habitable zone. Some of Daniel’s published work in this area includes a recent paper on the survival of small, potentially habitable planets in dynamically unstable systems. For his NPP project, Daniel will analyze multi-planet systems detected by the Kepler space telescope in order to determine how the composition and densities of ‘Super Earth’ planets are affected by the disk from which they form.

NExSS is proud to have been able to support these fantastic postdoctoral fellows in their research, and eagerly awaits their valuable contributions to the wider astrophysics and planetary science community. Each of their projects address issues at the very limit of our understanding in their respective areas, and their future work will undoubtedly add considerably to our growing knowledge. Welcome and congratulations to Eva and Daniel!

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