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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 with broad, interdisciplinary interests. My work applies computer simulations, telescope & spacecraft observations, field work, and laboratory data to develop novel approaches to understanding topics related to planetary interiors, orbital dynamics, and the physics of life's evolution.

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 planetary systems, including our own solar system. I am also expanding upon my focus toward understanding the origins of multicelluar life and its relevance to the Neoproterozoic global carbon cycle, using theoretical modeling of the carbon cycle combined with analysis of fossils collected through backyard fieldwork in the Death Valley area, where I am currently fortunate to be weathering out the pandemic.

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Copyright © 2020 Elizabeth Bailey