Dr. Gilda Ballester has been named a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Gilda has been an Associate Staff Scientist at LPL since 2000. Before coming to Tucson, she conducted her research at the University of Michigan as an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, Space Physics Research Laboratory. Gilda earned her Ph.D. in Physics (Astronomy minor) at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include characterization of exoplanets with transit observations at UV, optical and near-IR wavelengths with the Hubble Space Telescope and through collaborative ground-based observations. This research focuses on the properties of both the upper and lower atmospheres of hot Jupiters and low-density super Earths, and of magnetospheric interactions on these exoplanets. Her early research interests included Io’s atmosphere and plasma torus, and on the upper atmospheres, auroras and magnetospheric interactions of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus with both imaging and spectroscopy.