Lea Hirsch » Directory All A-Z
Lea HirschAssistant Professor, Teaching Stream, UTM Discovery and characterization of exoplanets with radial velocity data; Orbits of exoplanets and brown dwarfs; Demographics and occurrence of giant planets; Planets in binary star systems
My research interests begin with finding and characterizing nearby extrasolar planets using the radial velocity and direct imaging methods. I characterize the planets’ masses and orbits and use large ensembles of planets to study planet demographics and occurrence rates. I am especially interested in the effects of binary star companions on the formation and evolution of exoplanets. Nearly half of all stars like the Sun are binaries, and the gravitational influence of a stellar companion can inhibit the formation or destabilize the orbits of planets orbiting each star. I seek to understand these effects by statistically comparing the occurrence rates and demographics of planets in single vs. binary systems.