Lauren Michelle Weiss

Planet Hunter, Ph.D. Candidate

Ken & Gloria Levy Graduate Student Research Fellow


University of California Berkeley Astronomy Deptartment

Campbell Hall 605G, Berkeley, CA 94720.


I am the Ken & Gloria Levy Graduate Student Fellow at UC Berkeley. I work with Geoff Marcy to find and characterize planets around stars other than the sun (exoplanets). In particular, I measure the masses of exoplanets with the radial velocity (or Doppler shift) method with the goal of determining the compositions of small planets. Most recently, I discovered that planets smaller than 1.5 times the size of Earth are likely rocky, whereas planets larger than 1.5 times the size of Earth are enveloped in a thick layer of gas.

For my dissertation, I am studying stars that have multiple planets. I am looking for undiscovered planets in multi-planet systems and measuring their masses and orbital properites. By finding new planets and refining our understanding of planetary system architectures, I hope to bring new insight to the physical processes that form and shape planetary systems, including our own Solar system.


You can see my CV here.