Mercedes López-Morales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mercedes López-Morales
ResidenceBoston, United States
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Known forDiscovery and characterization of Exoplanets
Scientific career
FieldsExoplanet astrophysics
Institutions Harvard & Smithsonian

Mercedes López-Morales is a Spanish-American astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who works on detection and characterization of exoplanet atmospheres.[1][2]

Education and career[edit]

López-Morales studied physics during her undergraduate program at Universidad de La Laguna, in the Canary Islands, Spain.[1] She received her PhD in astronomy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004.[2] After completing her doctoral degree, she was a Carnegie postdoctoral fellow from 2004 until 2011 at the Carnegie Science Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) in Washington, DC.[3] During her tenure at the Carnegie Science DTM, López-Morales was also a postdoc at the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).[4] In 2007, López-Morales was awarded a Hubble Fellowship.[5] While at the NAI, she worked on two different projects, From Molecular Clouds to Habitable Planetary Systems and Looking Outward: Studies of the Physical and Chemical Evolution of Planetary Systems.[4]


Between 2011 and 2012, López-Morales returned to Spain as a researcher at the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona, Spain.[1], and was awarded a prestigious Ramón y Cajal Fellowship. She joined the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 2012.[2] In 2014-2015, she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where she worked on Searching for Atmospheric Signatures of Other Worlds.[2]

At the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, López-Morales is the Co-PI (with Daniel Apai) of the Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey (ACCESS) project where she investigates optical properties of exoplanet atmospheres using spectroscopy techniques.[1] López-Morales's work also focuses on the discovery and characterization of terrestrial exoplanets using HARPS-N, a high-resolution optical spectrograph with broad wavelength coverage located in the Northern hemisphere.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mercedes López-Morales". Harvard university. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Radcliffe Institute Fellows". Harvard university. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Carnegie Science DTM". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  4. ^ a b "NASA Astrobiology Institute-Directory". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  5. ^ "Hubble Fellows 1990-2017". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  6. ^ "HARPS-N Project". Retrieved 4 December 2018.