Dr Jessie Christiansen

Dr Jessie Christiansen is an accomplished Australian astrophysicist who spends her days hunting for new planets. As the lead scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Archive at the California Institute of Technology, Jessie’s research focuses on studying exoplanets, which are planets around other stars. She has published multiple exoplanet discoveries and co-authored discoveries on thousands more. 

Jessie’s love of astronomy began as a child, when she was given her first telescope. An amateur astronomer in high school, she completed a Bachelor of Science at Griffith University, before starting her exploration of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University. She went on to complete a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of NSW, before moving to the USA in 2008 to work as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Two years later, she was invited to join the groundbreaking NASA Kepler Mission as a staff scientist, significantly boosting her success in discovering new planets. Her contributions have earned her prestigious awards, including the NASA Group Achievement Award in 2010 and the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal in 2018 for her work on the Kepler planet sample. Jessie’s goal is to be part of NASA’s habitable worlds observatory, searching for rocky planets akin to Earth. She is passionate about encouraging the next generation of young astronomy enthusiasts, and is an advocate for scientific integrity and addressing vital issues in academia.

Listen to the full interview with Dr Jessie Christiansen on our #GlobalAustralianPodcast.
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