Astrophysics, Earth Science

Astrobiology Initiative Team Members Honored with Awards and Distinctions

Several of our esteemed Astrobiology Initiative team members received awards and distinctions recently. Honors included:

Myriam Telus, Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, won a NASA Early Career Award with funding to support her research in cosmochemistry. Telus’s research focuses on understanding the timing and conditions of the formation and early evolution of the solar system. Through detailed and precise analyses of meteorites—pieces of asteroids that have fallen to Earth—she finds clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals, the building blocks of planets. Read more here.

Jonathan Fortney, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, has been awarded the 2020 Paolo Farinella Prize from the Europlanet Society for his contributions to the understanding of the structure, evolution, and atmospheric dynamics of giant planets. The annual prize was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Italian scientist Paolo Farinella (1953‐2000).  Read more here.

Francis Nimmo, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Nimmo’s research focuses on how planets and their moons have evolved to their current states, and what explains the planetary diversity we see.  Read more here.

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Ramirez-Ruiz, who holds the Vera Rubin Presidential Chair for Diversity in Astronomy, and joined other Class of 2020 inductees including singer Joan Baez, former Attorney General Eric Holder.  Read more here.

Natalie Batalha, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Batalha was among more than 200 new members of the academy’s Class of 2019, including former first lady Michelle Obama, author Jonathan Franzen, and NPR science correspondent (and UCSC alumnus) Joe Palca. Read more here.
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