Dr. Meredith Hughes is an Associate Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University. In her research, Meredith uses large radio telescopes to study how planets form around other stars. After stars are formed, disks of leftover gas and dust go on to form planets. Meredith studies how this process works, the conditions that exist in these early disks, how the disks form planets, and the types of planets that form around stars. Studying this process in other star systems helps us learn more about our own solar system and how it formed.When Meredith isn’t working, you can find her hanging out with her husband, two young kids, and their dog. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, being outdoors, and volunteering in her community. She received her B.S. degree in Physics & Astronomy from Yale University. Afterwards, Meredith attended graduate school at Harvard University where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy. She was awarded a Miller Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral research in the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley before she joined the faculty at Wesleyan University in 2013. Meredith has received the Harvard Astronomy Department's Fireman Fellowship for her outstanding doctoral thesis as well as Harvard Astronomy’s Bok Prize for research excellence by a Ph.D. graduate under the age of 35. In addition, she was selected as a Cottrell Scholar in 2018 by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. In our interview, Meredith shares more about her life and science.
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