mars covered glacial deposits middle latitudes


Sally Dodson-Robinson


Department of Astronomy

I first got involved in astronomy in college, where I got a part-time job finding new binary stars. In 2002 I received a B.S. in Imaging Science with a minor in Japanese from Rochester Institute of Technology and then spent one year in Japan as an assistant language teacher. In 2003 I entered the astronomy and astrophysics Ph.D. program at UC Santa Cruz, where I joined the California-Carnegie planet-search team. After discovering a relationship between silicon and exoplanet detection I developed a strong interest in the chemistry of planetary formation. For my thesis I transitioned from observations to theory to build a chemically evolving protostellar disk model with a complete ice inventory, which I used to reconstruct Saturn's growth history. After graduating in 2008, I began a Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech, where I investigated the growth rate and composition of Uranus, Neptune and the "hot Saturn" exoplanet HD 149026b. Recently I have become interested in planet formation by gravitational instability and am working on deducing the growth histories of massive planets such as Fomalhaut b, which are much different than any planets in the solar system. I will join the UT Astronomy Department as an Assistant Professor on September 16.