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Dr. Jessie Christiansen    

NASA Planet Hunter, Project Scientist of the NASA Exoplanet Archive & Science Consultant

Jessie Christiansen is a researcher at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, working with vast amounts of sky survey data to find exoplanets and reveal new insights into the nature of planet formation.

After Christiansen's PhD, she worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. Christiansen works on the NASA Kepler mission, cataloguing the exoplanets within the Kepler field. As a member of the Kepler Science Team, she won the NASA Group Achievement Award in 2010. She is involved in the planning for the upcoming NASA TESS mission, which will search the whole sky for the nearest planets to Earth. Christiansen uses Citizen Science and the Zooniverse to help in her quest for exoplanets using the Kepler Space Telescope K2 dataset. She worked with Professor Ian Crossfield at MIT to ensure the K2 data was made public, and in January 2018 announced the discovery of 5 massive exoplanets orbiting the sun-like star K2-138.

Christiansen appeared on the Discovery Science program, "NASA's Unexplained Files." She recorded a panel discussion at Caltech, talking about the science behind Syfy's The Expanse. In 2018, she will appear in Ali Alvarez's documentary Under The Same Stars, about American women astrophysicists. She also discusses exoplanets and the Kepler mission on popular science podcasts.

Her writing has appeared on popular science websites, including the New Scientist, Smithsonian Magazine, and BBC News.

Alongside being the plenary speaker at academic conferences, Christiansen gives public talks about her research. In July 2018, Christiansen won the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for her work on the Kepler planet sample.

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