Aomawa Shields [EMAIL]

Dual-Title PhD,
Astronomy & Astrobiology (2014)

Office: Physics and Astronomy Building, Room B323
Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Education & Outreach


I'm a fourth-year graduate student in the Astronomy department and Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington.
My research focuses on modeling the climate of extrasolar planets using observational stellar spectra. I am specifically interested in constraining the probability of low-latitude glaciation on extrasolar planets as a function of host star and planetary properties.
I received my Sc.B in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1997, and an MFA in Acting from UCLA in 2001. Between then and entering graduate school I worked at Caltech supporting the astronomical community in its use of the Spitzer Space Telescope, co-hosted the PBS show "Wired Science", acted in the film "Nine Lives" (one of Ebert and Roeper's "Top Ten Films of 2005"), and published the essay 'Universe: The Sequel' in the anthology "She's Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff" (Seal Press, 2006).
Recently I was honored to win the Audience Choice award in the 2012 United States FameLab science communication competition. In my spare time my husband Steven and I like to travel, grill on our patio, and watch TV with our two mother and daughter cats, Mama and Mimi.