Introducing Amy Barr Mlinar

Amy Barr Mlinar is an expert in the formation and evolution of icy bodies. She is currently a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, AZ. Amy holds a BS in Planetary Science from Caltech and PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a member of the Europa Imaging System team and the REASON ice-penetrating radar team for the forthcoming Europa mission. She has been a member of several National Academies committees including Planetary Protection for Icy Bodies, and is currently a member of the Academies’ Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group. Amy currently resides in Belgrade, Serbia. In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Summer Science Program, Inc., which operates a summer residential astronomy enrichment program that has been active since 1959.


Introducing Bruno Merin

Bruno is an astronomer working for the European Space Agency in the Archives group at the European Space Astronomy Centre, near Madrid, in Spain. Before that, he spent time as a Research fellow at the ESA establishment in the Netherlands, ESTEC, and before at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands.

His research is on the formation of exoplanets in circumstellar disks surrounding  young stars. He observes them mostly with infrared space observatories like Spitzer and Herschel and now complements those studies with archival data from X-rays to radio wavelengths.

His current research includes identifying transitional disks, e.g. disks with large inner holes where exoplanets could be currently forming, with Herschel data to prepare for possible follow-up with ALMA or other large ground-based high spatial resolution facilities.

Bruno lives near Madrid with his wife Verónica, who also works at ESAC as an IT engineer, and his children Mario (5) and Alma (3). He likes being outdoors, trekking and telling stories about research to anyone with interest. He is on twitter as @brunomerin and has a science homepage here.

Introducing Paul M. Sutter

Paul Sutter received his PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. After spending three years at the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, he now splits his
time between a research fellowship in Trieste, Italy, and a visiting scholar position at the Ohio State University’s Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics. His research focuses on many diverse topics, from the emptiest regions of the universe, to the earliest moments of the Big Bang, to the formation of the first stars.

Paul is also the host of several podcast and youtube shows: “Ask a Spaceman!”  where he answers questions posted on social media, “Realspace” where he interview other young scientists and educators to break down misconceptions, and “Space in your Face”, presenting the latest astronomy news in under two minutes. His research and outreach activities are summarized at

Introducing Tyler Nordgren

Tyler Nordgren is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Redlands. Prior to arriving at Redlands in 2001 he was an astronomer at both Lowell Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He earned his PhD in astronomy from Cornell University in 1997 for work on dark matter in interacting spiral galaxies. In addition to publishing roughly two dozen peer reviewed scientific articles he is also the author of “Stars Above, Earth Below: A guide to astronomy in the national parks,” a popular science book dedicated to revealing what visitors to America’s national parks can observe in a dark night sky. Since 2007, Dr. Nordgren has worked closely with the U.S. National Park Service Night Sky Program to promote astronomy outreach and night-sky preservation in national parks. Dr. Nordgren has helped document this vanishing landscape with award-winning artwork and night sky photography that has been on display in galleries from New York City to Flagstaff, Arizona and has been used in a number of national parks. He is a past-member of the Board of Directors for the International Dark-Sky Association. In 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover joined Spirit and Opportunity on Mars carrying sundials, or “Marsdials” which Dr. Nordgren helped design with a team of seven other scientists and artists. His new book on the Great American solar eclipse of 2017 is coming out next year.