Lisa Esteves


Primary Advisor: Ray Jayawardhana

Secondary Advisor: Nicolas Cowan

Lisa Esteves completed her B.Sc. with Honours in Physics from University of Guelph with a stellar academic record and gained a Direct-Entry PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Exoplanet Atmospheres) at University of Toronto.

Lisa has also been very active in public outreach: two recent prestigious awards (the Sumner Memorial Fellowship and the Gilchrist Fellowship) attest to her academic excellence. She has already published two high-profile, highly cited papers on phase curve observations of exoplanets using data from the Kepler space telescope. These two papers represent the most comprehensive search and analysis to date of optical phase curve variations of close-in exoplanets using Kepler. It is rare for a graduate student to have as much impact as Lisa has with these two scientific papers so early in her career.

Relevance to the TEPS program:

Lisa’s PhD thesis uses data from the Kepler space telescope and ground-based telescopes to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets, and thus is directly relevant for the the Exo- Planetary Discovery theme of the TEPS CREATE program. In addition to exploiting cuttingedge astronomical techniques and tools, her work also incorporates theoretical modeling and sets the stage for future advances using facilities with substantial Canadian investments, such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope.