My specialty is astrophysics, astrobiology and paleontology. The research I did in the past was about ice ages on our planet Earth. That was in the period before the existing of internet. You can almost not imagine how we managed in those days, but we did. Now my main focus when it comes to research is the past mass extinctions on our planet and the search for exoplanets.
Two very different topics it seems at first but to me there is a connection. That connection is life, the possibilities of life and habitability of a planet. what a planet makes it habitable.
For the search for exoplanets I work with data from TESS and NGTS. By the way those searching for exoplanets are also called planet hunters. So when people ask me what I do I tell them I hunt planets. That’s always a nice start of a conversation.
TESS is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. It is providing us with a huge amount of data that let us look for planets outside of our solar system, including planets that could support life.
NGTS, the Next Generation Transit Survey is a ground based search for exoplanets. The facility is located at Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert in northern Chile.
The research about the past mass extinctions on Earth is more in the field of paleontology. Study and discover the causes, try to understand.