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Exoplanets: Guests (2017)

Dr. Tiffany Meshkat

Assistant Research Scientist at IPAC/Caltech

Dr. Tiffany Meshkat did her undergraduate study at the University of California, Los Angeles, in astrophysics and obtained her Ph.D. in astronomy at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Dr. Meshkat studies the direct imaging of extrasolar planets. Her astronomical research focuses on understanding giant exoplanet formation through high contrast imaging. She has recently focused on the correlation between giant exoplanets and debris disks, and what this implies for exoplanet-disk interactions. As a member of the WFIRST coronagraph instrument team, she contributes to the data processing pipeline and community proposal tools.

Before this, she was an Exoplanetary Science Initiatve Postdoctoral Fellow at JPL/Caltech (NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

Dr. Nick Siegler

Chief Technologist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Nick Siegler is an astrophysicist and the Chief Technologist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. With collaborators from all over the country he helps identify and mature technologies needed to enable possible future NASA missions that will ultimately look for evidence of life on exoplanets. He has worked in a variety of systems engineering and project management roles for the last nine years. Prior to NASA, Nick held astronomy research positions at the University of Arizona as well as various operations management positions with subsidiaries of Unilever at various domestic and international locations. Dr. Siegler received his PhD and Masters in astronomy from the University of Arizona, a masters in international business from the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, and a bachelors in chemical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Dr. Siegler is an example that it's never too late to chase your dreams. At the age of 33 he left an international career in chemical manufacturing while working for a subsidiary of the large consumers goods company Unilever and went back to school to become an astrophysicist, his boyhood dream. The journey took him nine and a half years from re-starting as an undergraduate at Harvard University concentrating in physics to finally completing his PhD in 2007.

Past guests for this topic include: Marc Kuchner.

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