Here’s my full CV and publications list.

Aomawa Shields
University of California, Irvine
Department of Physics & Astronomy
4129 Frederick Reines Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-4575

Interests: Climate and habitability of extrasolar planets orbiting low-mass stars. Multi-dimensional climate models. Interdisciplinary science education and communication.


University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Ph.D., Astronomy and Astrobiology, August 2014
“The Effect of Star-Planet Interactions on Planetary Climate”
Supervised by Victoria Meadows and Cecilia Bitz
M.Sc., Astronomy, December 2011

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
MFA, Acting, June 2001

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Sc.B., Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, June 1997

Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
Graduated with High Honors, June 1993

Recent Appointments:

UC Irvine, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Irvine, CA
Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor (2020-Present)

UC Irvine, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Irvine, CA
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor (2016-Present)

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow 2014-2017)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2011–2014)
Academic Mentor, Pre-Major in Astronomy Program (2013–2014)
NSF IGERT Trainee (2009–2011)
Research & Teaching Assistant, Department of Astronomy (2009–2014)

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Scientific Analysis Associate, Observatory Planning and Scheduling Team (2008–2009)
Scientific Analysis Assistant, Science User Support Team (2005–2008)

Selected Fellowships, Awards, and Honors:

NASA Exoplanets Research Program Grant (2023-2025)

Kibbe Science Endowed Lectureship, February 2022

“Better Stars, Better Planets: Exploiting the Stellar-Exoplanetary Synergy”, 2019

NSF CAREER Award (2018-2023)

NASA Habitable Worlds Program Grant (2017-2020)

Clare Boothe Luce Professorship (2016-2021)

The Origins Project Postdoctoral Award Lectureship (2016)

Kavli Fellow (2015)

TED Fellow (2015)

Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize, American Astronomical Society 225th Meeting (2015)

NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2017)

UC President’s Postdoctoral Program Fellowship (2014-2016)

First Place, Astrobiology Science Conference Student Poster Competition (2012)

“Audience Choice”, US FameLab Astrobiology communication competition (2012)

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2011-2014)

Member, Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System

Science Professional Development Program (MS PHD’S PDP) (2011-2013)

NASA Group Achievement Award, Spitzer Science Operations Planning Team (2010)

NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (2009-2011)

NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award, Spitzer Observatory Planning/Scheduling Team (2009)

Recent Publications:

Lobo, A., Shields, A. L., Palubski, I., Wolf, E.T. (2023) Terminator Habitability: the Case for Limited Water Availability on M-dwarf Planets, ApJ, 945, 161.

Kossakowski, D., Kürster M., Trifonov, T., Henning, Th., Kemmer, J., Callabero, J.A., Burn, R., Sabotta, S. Crouse, J.S., Fauchez, T.J., Nagel, E., Kaminski, A., Herrero, E., Rodríguez, E., González,-Álvarez E., Quirrenbach, A., Amado, P.J., Ribas, I., Reiners, A., Aceituno, J., Béjar, V.J.S., Baroch D., Bastelberger, S.T., Chaturvedi, P., Cifuentes, C., Dreizler, S., Jeffers, S.V., Kopparapu, R., Lafarga, M., López-González, M.J., Martín-Ruiz, S., Montes, D., Morales, J.C., Pallé, E., Pavlov, A., Schlecker, M., Schöfer, P., Schweitzer, A., Shan, Y., Shields, A., Stock, S., Wolf, E., Zapatero Osorio, M.R., and Zechmeister, M. (2023) The CARMENES search for exoplanets around M dwarfs Wolf 1069 b: Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a nearby, very low-mass star, Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Haqq-Misra, J., Wolf, E.T., Fauchez, T.J., Shields, A.L., and Kopparapu, R.K. (2022) The Sparse Atmospheric Model Sampling Analysis (SAMOSA) Intercomparison: Motivations and Protocol Version 1.0: A CUISINES Model Intercomparison ProjectPlanet. Sci. J., 3, 260.

Rushby, A., Shields, A. L., Wolf, E. T., Lague, M, Burgasser, A. (2020) The Effect of Land Albedo on the Climate of Land-dominated Planets in the TRAPPIST-1 System, ApJ, 904, 124.

Palubski, I., Shields, A. L., and Deitrick, R. (2020) Habitability and Water Loss Limits on Eccentric Planets Orbiting Main-sequence Stars, ApJ, 890, 30.

Rushby, A., Shields, A. L., and Joshi, M. (2019) The Effect of Land Fraction and
Host Star Spectral Energy Distribution on the Planetary Albedo of Terrestrial Worlds,
ApJ, 887, 29.

Shields, A. L., Bitz, C.M., and Palubski, I. (2019) Energy Budgets for Terrestrial Extrasolar Planets, ApJL, 884, 2.

Shields, A. L. and Carns, R. C. Hydrohalite Salt-albedo Feedback Could Cool M- dwarf Planets, Astrophysical Journal, in review.

Wolf, E.T., Shields, A. L., Kopparapu, R. K., Haqq-Misra, J., Toon, O. B. (2017) Constraints on Climate and Habitability for Earth-like Exoplanets Determined from a General Circulation Model, Astrophysical Journal, 837, 2.

Shields, A. L., Ballard, S., Johnson, J. (2016) The Habitability of Planets Orbiting M-dwarf Stars, Physics Reports, 663:1-38.

Shields, A. L., Barnes, R., Agol, E., Charnay, B., Bitz, C. M., Meadows, V. S. (2016) The Effect of Orbital Configuration on the Possible Climates and Habitability of Kepler-62f, Astrobiology, 16, 6.

Shields, A. L., Bitz, C. M., Meadows, V. S., Joshi, M. M., Robinson, T. D. (2014) Spectrum- driven Planetary Deglaciation Due to Increases in Stellar Luminosity, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 785, 9.

Shields, A. L., Meadows, V. S., Bitz, C. M., Pierrehumbert, R. T., Joshi, M. M., Robinson, T. D. (2013) The Effect of Host Star Spectral Energy Distribution and Ice-Albedo Feedback on the Climate of Extrasolar Planets, Astrobiology, 13, 8.

Other Publications:

Shields, A. L. (2021) A Professor Describes How She Found Her Voice to Speak Truth About Systemic Racism and Exclusion (Opinion), Inside Higher Ed, March 5, 2021.

Shields, A. L. (2021) Remaining Publicly Silent in the Face of Overtly Racist and Exclusionary Attitudes has a Cost, Inside Higher Ed, February 19, 2021.

Shields, A. L. (2016) The Rising Stargirls Teaching and Activity Handbook.

Press Coverage:

” ‘Terminator zones’ on distant planets could harbor life, UC Irvine astronomers say”, UCI News, March 16, 2023

Featured Astronomer in Astrophysics Variety Hour Video produced by NASA’s Universe of Learning, March 29, 2022

Aomawa Shields Visits Bowdoin as 2022 Kibbe Science Lecturer”, The Bowdoin Orient, February 25, 2022

UCI’s Rising Stargirls Program Dawns Again this Summer”, UCI Physical Sciences Communications, January 19, 2022

StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson Season 12, Episode 22: “Cosmic Queries – Exoplanetary Exploration with Dr. Aomawa Shields”, August 31, 2021

Black Futures Campaign”, University of California, Office of the President, January 29, 2021

“The Limit Does Not Exist” Podcast episode 111: “Star Power”, October 30, 2020

Adler Planetarium’s Online Exhibit “Life on Other Worlds”, Adler Planetarium, October 13, 2020

Science Channel show How the Universe Works Episodes “Aliens of the Microcosmos”, “Curse of the White Dwarf”, and “Mystery of Alien Worlds”, August 5, 2020

5 Women Writing About Science“,, July 8, 2020

Tonya Bolden’s book Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black Women in STEM March 16, 2020

“How the coolest, smallest stars could help us discover new exoplanets”
New Scientist, August 7, 2019

“Oceans, Beaches, Cosmic Shorelines: Our changing views of habitable planets”
NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program feature, June 18, 2019

“The Apollo 11 Moon Landing Anniversary is a Reminder of the Importance
of Women in STEM”, Teen Vogue Magazine, June 5, 2019

“Modeling the Climates of Worlds Beyond Earth”, Earth and Space Science News,
January 14, 2019

PBS NOVA Video on my non-traditional career path, September 8, 2018

“Three UCI School of Physical Sciences Faculty Earn Prestigious NSF Early Career Awards”
UCI School of Physical Sciences Communications, June 18, 2018

What Do You Have to Do to Get a Water Covered Planet Around Here?“, Astrobites, June 1, 2017

Astrobiology’s Rising Star“, UC News, February 7, 2017

Faculty Highlight: Aomawa Shields“, Astronomy in Color, September 29, 2016

A Planet 1,200 Light-Years Away is a Good Prospect for a Habitable World“, UCLA Newsroom, May 26, 2016

Why I Changed My Life: Acting, Astronomy, and a One-of-a-Kind Career“, Glamour, May 10, 2016

The Origins Project Announces Recipient of $10,000 Postdoctoral Lectureship Award“,  The Origins Project, February 24, 2016

Astronomer, actor, role model: TED Fellow Aomawa Shields looks for life on other planets“, TED blog, July 10, 2015

“NSF Fellow Pairs Art, Astronomy to Hook Girls on Science”, Education Week, March 18, 2015

Talking exoplanets and alien life in WIRED magazine piece “The Best Bet for Alien Life May Be in Planetary Systems Very Different From Ours“, January 16, 2015

A Warmer Planetary Haven Around Cool Stars, as Ice Warms Rather Than Cools, University of Washington News Release, July 18, 2013

Recent Invited Talks:

Commencement Speaker, Lewis and Clark College, May 6, 2023

Plenary talk, AbSciCon22, May 19, 2022

Colloquium and reflective workshop, Bowdoin College, Kibbe Endowed Lectureship, February 24, 2022

Kibbe Science Lecture, Bowdoin College, February 23, 2022

Virtual Talk, NCAR, Annual 26th CESM Workshop, Alternate Earths Sessions, June 17, 2021

Virtual Colloquium, Arizona State University, ASU School of Earth and Space Ex- ploration (SESE), December 2, 2020

Virtual Colloquium, University of Washington, November 12, 2020

Virtual Talk and Discussion, University of Chicago, University of Chicago Exoplanet Group, September 28, 2020

Virtual Colloquium, Georgia Tech, September 21, 2020

Virtual Talk, THAI Workshop 2020, September 15, 2020

Virtual Talk, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) Exostars Redux Conference: “The Star-Planet Climate Connection: Energy Budgets for Terrestrial Extrasolar Planets”, August 26, 2020

Keynote address, Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), UC Irvine, Jan 19, 2020

Presentation, Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop, “Astrobiology for Astronomers”, Caltech, July 18, 2019

Presentation, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) Conference:“Planet-Star Connections in the Ear of TESS and Gaia”, Santa Barbara, CA May 24, 2019

Chalk Talk, Friends of the KITP, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics,Santa Barbara, CA, May 15, 2019

Plenary talk, American Astronomical Society, 233rd AAS Meeting, Seattle, WA January 2019

Presentation, UC Irvine, School of Physical Sciences, Breakfast Lecture Series, May 8, 2018

Presentation, UC Irvine, School of Physical Sciences, May 8, 2018

Presentation, California Institute of Technology, ExSoCal2017, September 18-19, 2017

Presentation, Breakthrough Discuss Conference, Stanford University, April 20-21, 2017

Colloquium, UCLA, April 12, 2017

Colloquium, Cal Poly Pomona, November 10, 2016

Colloquium, Carnegie Observatories, May 24, 2016

Seminar, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, UC San Diego, May 18, 2016

Origins Project Public Lecture and Colloquia, Arizona State University, April 4-8, 2016

ITC Colloquium, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, February 25, 2016

Seminar, Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, February 23, 2016

Seminar, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UC Santa Cruz, November 20, 2015

Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, Beckman Center of the National Academies, November 5, 2015

Colloquium, University of Rochester, October 14, 2015

AST Colloquium, Rochester Institute of Technology, October 12, 2015

Astrophysics Colloquium, UC Irvine, September 8, 2015


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