Nikole Lewis received her PhD in planetary sciences from the
University of Arizona in 2012.
She grew up in Lafayette, IN before heading to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to
earn a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and physics.
After continuing on to earn a masters degree in astronomy from
Boston University, she spent a few years working in industry
as a systems engineer before
deciding to pursue a doctorate in planetary sciences. Dr. Lewis
currently lives with her husband and daughter in the greater Boston area.
Dr. Lewis' work
at the University of Arizona with exoplanet atmospheric models has
provided the perfect outlet
for her diverse background. She is especially interested in
characterizing exoplanet atmospheres by combining information from
observations and theoretical models. She hopes that through her
we will better understand the physical processes at work in the atmospheres of planets outside of our solar system.
As a Sagan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Dr. Lewis will use sophisticated three-dimensional atmospheric models
to explore the interplay between dynamical, radiative and chemical
processes in exoplanet atmospheres. She will investigate the
impact of disequilibrium chemistry, carbon-rich/poor atmospheric
abundances, and clouds on exoplanet global scale winds, thermal
patterns, and observable flux variations. The goal of this
project is to aid in the interpretation of observations aimed at
the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, which have already
revealed a great diversity in exoplanet atmospheric chemistry.