National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland
  +41 (0)31 684 32 39

Matthews Elisabeth, Dr.

3.0_project, 3.3_project, Université de Genève, Département d'Astronomie
1290 Versoix
+41 22 379 24 75
Please give us a personal quote or a quote of a famous person (e.g. of Albert Einstein) that describes you and your life/work.
We stand on a great threshold in the human history of space exploration. If life is prevalent in our neighborhood of the galaxy, it is within our resources and technological reach to be the first generation in human history to finally cross this threshold, and to learn if there is life of any kind beyond Earth. (Sara Seager)
Please describe your job in only one sentence and tell us what the most important goal of this work is.
I take high contrast, high resolution images of nearby stars to search for exoplanets and debris disks.
How did you get into this research/work field?
I’ve always been interested in physics, and in understanding how things work. For my undergrad I studied physics, and spent two summers doing astronomy internships. I really enjoyed both learning more astronomy and also the process of research, and I’ve been doing it ever since!
What would be the greatest discovery you would like to see in your life time?
I’m very excited for the first direct image of an Earth-like planet, which will allow a detailed characterization of “Earth-twin” planets and possibly even hint towards the presence of alien life.
You work for the NCCR PlanetS. What do you think will the NCCR enable you to do you couldn’t do without it?
The community and the possibilities for collaboration are really important to me.


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