RCN Steering Committee

  • Jonathan Crass - RCN SC Member
    Jonathan Crass (University of Notre Dame)
    Jonathan Crass is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the instrument scientist for the iLocater instrument and is developing high-resolution diffraction-limited spectroscopy capabilities for EPRV science programs. Jonathan supports several public outreach efforts and is a strong advocate for improving diversity, equity and inclusion within STEM.

  • Drake Deming - RCN SC Member
    Drake Deming (University of Maryland, College Park)
    Drake Deming is Research Professor of Astronomy at the University of Maryland at College Park. For the most recent two decades, Drake has worked on spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets. Drake also has a long-standing interest in the velocity stability of the Sun-as-a-star, and he conducted some early observations of the Sun's velocity stability using a Fourier transform spectrometer.

  • Irina Kitiashvili - RCN SC Member
    Irina Kitiashvili (NASA Ames Research Center)
    Irina is a research fellow at NASA Ames Research Center. Her research interests include: developing numerical simulations of the solar and stellar dynamics and magnetism based on first-principle physics modeling and analysis of observational spectro-polarimetric data from NASA’s SDO mission. She is also interested in data assimilation approaches, which represent the synergy of dynamo models and observations, for the prediction of solar activity and cycles.

  • Paul Robertson - RCN SC Member
    Paul Robertson (UC Irvine)
    Paul Robertson is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine. He is a Project Scientist for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) and NEID Doppler Spectrometers. His research interests focus on radial velocity detection of exoplanets via instrumentation, survey design, and analysis of stellar variability.

  • Rachael Rottenbacher  - RCN SC Member
    Rachael Roettenbacher (Univ. of Michigan)
    Rachael Roettenbacher is a 51 Pegasi b fellow at the University of Michigan, where she studies active stars with a variety of techniques, including interferometric imaging. A current aim of her work is to use stellar images to account for the stellar radial velocity contributions in the search for exoplanets with extreme precision radial velocity spectrographs.

  • Steve Saar - RCN SC Member
    Steve Saar (Center for Astrophysics ∣ Harvard & Smithsonian)
    Steve Saar specializes in solar/stellar magnetic fields and related activity and phenomena, and the effects of these on radial velocities. He also studies stellar rotation and its evolution, and other stellar velocity fields.

  • Andreas Seifahrt - RCN SC Member
    Andreas Seifahrt (University of Chicago)
    Andreas is a Research Associate Professor at The University of Chicago. He has built and commissioned the MAROON-X spectrograph at the Gemini-North Telescope and is currently leading the day-to-day activities and upgrade plans for MAROON-X. Andreas' main interest is in understanding the performance of current EPRV spectrographs and the implications for the next generation of instruments, particularly the interplay of opto-mechanic design and advanced calibration schemes.

  • Gudmundur Stefansson - RCN SC Member
    Gudmundur Stefansson (Princeton University)
    Gudmundur Stefansson is an incoming NASA Sagan Fellow at Princeton University. He is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder Spectrograph and a member of the instrument and science team of the NEID Spectrograph. Gudmundur’s research focuses on combining new instrumentation and analysis techniques to better detect and characterize planets orbiting nearby stars.

  • Johanna Teske - RCN SC Member
    Johanna Teske (Carnegie Earth and Planets Lab)
    Johanna Teske is a Staff Scientist at Carnegie Earth and Planets Lab and a member of the Magellan/PFS instrument team. She is interested in understanding the scope and origin of small planet compositional diversity, and exploring optimal observing strategies for the most accurate and precise planet population studies. She is a team member of the Planet Finder Spectrograph, a PRV iodine-based instrument on the Magellan II telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

  • Ryan Terrien - RCN SC Member
    Ryan Terrien (Carleton College)
    Ryan Terrien is an Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. He is interested in instrumentation for precise radial velocities, low-mass stars, and teaching physics.

  • Virisha Timmaraju - RCN SC Member
    Virisha Timmaraju (JPL)
    Virisha Timmaraju is a Data Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, passionate about applying data science to various problems in astrophysics, primarily searching for habitable planets like the Earth and looking for signs of intelligent life outside our planet.

  • Andrew Vanderburg - RCN SC Member
    Andrew Vanderburg (MIT)
    Andrew is an assistant professor of physics at MIT studying exoplanet detection and characterization. He is particularly interested in developing new data analysis methods and tools to enable the discovery of small planets and understand their detailed properties. His group uses methods like deep neural networks to detect and exploit subtle patterns in data and automate analysis tasks that traditionally required human judgment.
  • Lily Zhao - RCN SC Member
    Lily L. Zhao (Flatiron Institute)
    Lily L. Zhao is a Flatiron Research Fellow at the Center for Computational Astrophysics. By combining her background in instrumentation with dimensionality reducing statistical methods, Lily develops data-driven methods for extracting high fidelity spectra, mitigating stellar signals, and detecting lower-mass planets. Lily leads the EXPRES Stellar Signals Project, a global network of over 50 researchers working together to disentangle the effects of photospheric velocities in high-precision RV data.

RCN Co-Leads

  • Jennifer Burt - RCN Co-Lead
    Jennifer Burt (JPL)

    Jennifer is a staff scientist at JPL, where she focuses on measuring the masses of small exoplanets with precision radial velocity spectrographs on a variety of ground based telescopes.

  • David Ciardi - RCN Co-Lead
    David Ciardi (Caltech IPAC)