New faculty joining PTYS/LPL in 2011
With expertise ranging from the furthest reaches of the realm of planetary science to the nanometer-scale world of laboratory studies, three scientists have accepted offers to become assistant professors in the Department of Planetary Sciences, beginning in 2011.
Ilaria Pascucci, currently at Space Telescope Science Institute, studies the formation of planets through astronomical observations of circumstellar disks around young stars. In particular, she has been working on finding the chemical compositions of such disks. Ilaria is a former post-doctoral fellow at Steward Observatory.
Thomas Zega, who will be moving to LPL from the Naval Research Laboratory, is an expert in the study of the very small, using tools like the Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM) and the Transmission Electron Microscope to study interplanetary dust particles and returned comet samples, as well as the finest-grained portion of meteorites.
Dániel Apai, Ilaria's husband, will be joining Steward Observatory, but will also have an appointment at LPL. He is also an astronomer by training, but has focused more on exoplanets and their potential for harboring life.