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Elizabeth Bailey

Heising-Simons 51 Pegasi b Fellow
in Planetary Astronomy

UC Santa Cruz

Welcome to my academic website! I am a planetary scientist interested in a wide range of interdisciplinary topics. My work focuses on the interior and orbital dynamics of both exoplanets and solar system planets, and relating our understanding of the two. I use theoretical foundations in physics, combined with numerical techniques, to understand topics ranging from the interior states of Uranus and Neptune to the formation and orbital dynamics of hot Jupiters.

I received my PhD in planetary science from Caltech. My PhD thesis, titled "Interior and Orbital Dynamics at the Innermost and Outermost Reaches of Planetary Systems," was advised by Professors K. Batygin and D. J. Stevenson. My doctoral work addressed: (1) The orbital dynamics of the trans-Neptunian solar system, helping guide the ongoing search for Planet Nine. (2) The formation of hot Jupiters, providing insight into how in-situ formation could produce the observed period-mass distribution of these planets. (3) Interior models of Uranus and Neptune, applying novel, inferred thermodynamic constraints on their deep compositions to develop a new framework for potentially explaining the different heatflows of these planets.

At UC Santa Cruz, in addition to expanding upon the aforementioned work, I am excited to be developing orbital constraints on planet formation in the innermost reaches of our own solar system. I will also be turning my focus toward understanding terrestrial planet habitability and the physics of Earth's biosphere.

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