Team Members

Currently in the team

Remi Soummer: I develop novel coronagraph designs, speckle statistics theories, and innovative high-fidelity modeling algorithms for high-contrast imaging. I have been the coronagraph architect of the Gemini Planet Imager and Palomar Project 1640, as well as being involved in star shades research and development of other future space missions concepts. I am currently a member of the NASA Exoplanetary Program Advisory Group (ExoPAG) Executive Committee. I am also the head of the Russell B. Makidon Optics Lab at STScI.
Marshall Perrin: I develop and employ advanced instrumentation for imaging planets and disks around other stars, in particular making extensive use of infrared integral field spectroscopy and imaging polarimetry. I have been a part of the Gemini Planet Imager team since the project's inception over a decade ago, and these days I co-lead GPI's Data Analysis & Data Pipeline team. I carry out observations of nearby circumstellar disks using HST, GPI, and other facilities, and collaborate in the development of our lab testbeds for high contrast and wavefront control.
Dean Hines: I use ultraviolet, optical and infrared imaging, spectropolarimetry and spectroscopy, to investigate active galaxies, quasars, post-main-sequence stars, and the formation and evolution of planetary systems including the Solar System. My research has a particular emphasis on polarimetry and high-contrast imaging of these astrophysical phenomenon. I am a member of the HST/NICMOS and Spitzer/MIPS instrument and science teams, and the JWST/MIRI science and the MIRI Instrument Team Lead at STScI. I am also the PI for the Polarimetry Experiment for Zodiacal Dust, and the Deputy PI for the EXCEDE mission, which is a proposed dedicated coronagraphic imaging polarimetry space telescope designed to investigate the environments of nearby stars.

Laurent Pueyo: High contrast imaging of nearby stars opens new avenues to map regions of the planetary formation phase-space yet unexplored with indirect methods. This technique is also the most promising to search for biomarkers in the atmosphere of earth-like planets in order to eventually address the fascinating question: “Are we alone?” Such observations are however quite challenging: they rely on detecting sources fainter than their host stars by factors ranging from 10− 10for young gas giants, to 1010 for earth analogs. I investigate a broad range of problems aimed at facilitating and carrying out direct imaging exo-planetary science. More specifically, I am currently working on: 

[a.] High-contrast imaging instrumentation to prepare the ELT/post-JWST era, with long term goals aimed at capturing in-situ planetary formation phenomena and probing for biomarkers in the atmosphere of earth analogs.

[b.] Direct imaging surveys with today’s state of the art facilities, aimed at revealing a broader range of planetary systems, unveiling their formation history and exploring their atmospheric compositions

Anand Sivaramakrishnan:  I played a pioneering role in developing extreme adaptive optics coronagraphy, and was involved in the first three such instruments: The Lyot Project on USAF's AEOS telescope, Project 1640 on Palomar's 200-inch, and the Gemini Planet Imager. I lead high resolution interferometric methods for the James Webb Space Telescope by placing a non-redundant aperture mask in JSWT-NIRISS. I develop instrumentation to address problems of imaging planets around other stars, the environs of supermassive black holes at the centers of Active Galactic Nuclei. I also co-teach a JHU graduate course in Fourier Optics.
Keira Brooks: I am a Senior Research and Instrument Analyst on the Telescopes team. I previously was involved in testing the optical performance of the JWST primary mirror but now I support the JWST FGS team that is imbedded in the Telescopes team and the Coronagraphs Working Group. In the Makidon Optics lab, I work on the HiCAT testbed, developing experimental software and calibration of the testbed.
Christopher Moriarty: I am a Senior Systems Software Engineer at STScI.  I primarily develop Python code to control the HiCAT testbed, and in doing so I plan to create a generic library to control other testbeds.  The infrastructure I have been developing focuses on object oriented interfaces, automated safe control of hardware and standardization of data collection.  While I’m mostly recognized for my software contributions, I’m also learning and contributing to the science goals of the project.

Iva Laginja: I work on JOST, the JWST Optical Simulation Testbed, which is a three lens anastigmat reproducing the optics of JWST, including a segmented deformable mirror. It is used for testing and demonstration of different phase retrieval techniques, like a linear phase diversity algorithm (LAPD), the Hybrid Diversity Algorithm (HDA) which is the baseline phase retrieval technique for JWST, as well as Geometric Phase Retrieval (GPR) and parametric phase retrieval. Furthermore, I am interested in adaptive optics, coronagraphy and exoplanet sciences, specifically circumplanetary environments and detection techniques.

Lucie Leboulleux: I am a PhD student, half attached to the STScI and half to the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, but funded by Onera. My research focuses on high-contrast imaging with segmented telescopes, in particular wavefront correction. I am also developing a novel method for sensitivity analysis of segmented primary mirrors in the context of Earth-like planet imaging.
Rob Gontrum: I arrived at the Space Telescope Science Institute in 2008, bringing a deep and varied computer science background. My work as an IT Technologist involves supporting the Russel B. Maiden Optics Laboratory among other endeavors.  I greatly enjoy applying special care and consideration the varied opportunities my role provides.

Charles Lajoie: My work focuses on preparing for the on-orbit alignment of the James Webb Space Telescope. In order to prepare for such a complex task, we will use JOST (James Webb Space Telescope Optical Simulator Testbed), a three-lens transmissive model of JWST that includes a segmented deformable mirror, to exercise the software that will be used to commission JWST. JOST will allow us to become intimately familiar with various steps of the JWST commissioning process and develop contingency strategies for aligning it.  I also work on simulations of JWST coronagraphic observations and methods for optimizing coronagraphic performance.
Johan Mazoyer: I am interested in the imaging and study of the close vicinity of young stars, in which often hide debris disks and exoplanets. Both in simulation and experimentally on test beds, I develop wavefront control techniques which, associated to coronagraphs, achieve high contrast imaging in broad spectral bands. I also use image processing methods to detect and analyze circumstellar debris disks.


Previously in the team


Rachel Lajoie: I am a Senior Research and Instrument Analyst at STScI. I work on the JWST/MIRI team, focusing mainly on calibration issues.  I also work in the Operations Detector Laboratory (ODL) and in the Makidon Optics Lab.  My main role in the Makidon Optics Laboratory is Lab Manager!
Mamadou N'Diaye: My research interests deal with exoplanet direct imaging and spectroscopy. I have been doing research and development in astronomical instrumentation, investigating innovative concepts in coronagraphy and wavefront sensing.
Elodie Choquet: My main science interests reside in the study of the composition and formation mechanisms of young planetary systems. My research focuses on the observation and analysis of young and teenage systems with high contrast imaging, for which I have developed expertise in post-processing techniques. I also have a strong interest in developing cutting-edge instrumental systems for high contrast and/or high angular resolution observations. My research aims at developing control techniques for direct imaging instruments and interferometers.
STScI projects: ALICE, HICAT.

Marie Ygouf: My current research focuses on high contrast multispectral imaging in view of directly detecting and characterizing exoplanets. In this framework, the development of innovative image post-processing methods is essential in order to eliminate the quasi-static speckles in the final image, which remain the main limitation for high contrast. More generally, I am interested in improving the performance of future instruments for high contrast imaging, taking profit of data analysis and of the detailed characterization of the instrumental limitations and calibration capabilities. My fields of interest include direct detection of exoplanets, image processing, high angular resolution and high contrast techniques, wavefront sensing and control, simulation, modeling and optical design.

Alex Greenbaum: I am a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, working on a high angular resolution technique called non-redundant masking (NRM) that can be used for the direct detection of young planets in the process of formation. I work with the non-redundant mask on the Gemini Planet Imager to look for these young planets and learn about how the instrument performs. I use the same concepts to do simulations for the NRM on the James Webb Space Telescope. I am also interested in wavefront sensing and image reconstruction.

Sylvain Egron
Schuyler Wolff
Kelly Coleman
Joe Hunkeler
Noah Gamper 
Olivier Levecq 
Elena Gofas Salas