Introducing Emily Sandford

Emily Sandford (@EmSandford) is a PhD student in the Cool Worlds lab at Columbia University. She uses planets to study stars, and she teaches computers how to recognize patterns in planetary transits. She has also worked on detecting dark matter using dissolving star clusters in the Milky Way. She writes for @Astrobites.

Introducing Jennifer Johnson

Dr. Jennifer Johnson is a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Ohio State University. She studies the formation and evolution of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies and the origin of the elements. Her favorite element is arsenic, followed closely by ytterbium. Jennifer is currently the Spokesperson of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and is particularly involved in the @APOGEEsurvey of the compositions and motions of hundreds of thousands of Milky Way stars. She should really be writing the Data Release 13 paper right now.

Jennifer grew up as a Foreign Service brat in Arlington, Virginia, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Trindid and Tobago, and Bonn, West Germany. She received her B.A. in physics at Carleton College and her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. Her PhD with Mike Bolte focused on deriving ages for stars using the radioactive element thorium, and she continues to try and guess the ages and masses of stars. After postdoctoral fellowships at @CarnegieAstro in Pasadena and at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victora, British Columbia, Jennifer moved to Columbus, Ohio to join the faculty at Ohio State. She is one of the tweeters from the @sdssurveys and @APOGEEsurvey accounts as well as tweeting personally as @jajohnson51.

Introducing Laura Watkins

This week features Laura Watkins, a postdoc at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.  Laura’s research focuses on the dynamics of stars in globular clusters in the Milky Way. By comparing observations against dynamical models, she learns about their structures and how they formed and evolved. She also models the dynamics of the satellite systems of the Milky Way and Andromeda in order to understand their origins and to weigh the host galaxies. Laura is part of the HSTPROMO collaboration, using HST proper motion measurements to study all sorts of weird and wonderful astrophysical objects.
Laura was born and raised in the UK.  She did her PhD at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge and then spent 3 years as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg before moving to STScI a year ago. When not being an astronomer, Laura loves ballroom and latin dancing. She also likes reading, baking and travelling. She tweets at @laurawatkins_.