Geert Barentsen and Knicole Colón join the Guest Observer Office

News article posted on by Thomas Barclay

The Kepler/K2 Guest Observer Office has two new members joining us at Ames Research Center in California: Geert Barentsen and Knicole Colón.

Dr Geert Barentsen joins us from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. Geert's background is in the exploitation of photometry from wide-area surveys. In Hertfordshire he leads the data processing of two projects which aim to map our own Milky Way in unprecedented detail: IPHAS and VPHAS+. He also teaches a university's programming and statistics class, and is a contributor to the AstroPy project.

Geert earned his doctorate at the Queen's University of Belfast in 2012 where he studied star formation using narrow-band photometry. Prior to his PhD, he obtained a Master's degree in Computer Science at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, after which he gained professional experience in data science at the European Space Agency in The Netherlands and the Royal Meteorological Institute in Belgium. In his spare time, he studies the activity of meteor showers using data collected by amateur astronomers.

Dr Knicole Colón leaves a postdoctoral role at Lehigh University as a member of the KELT project to join us at Kepler. Her expertise is in the discovery and characterization of transiting exoplanets.

As a graduate student at the University of Florida, Knicole demonstrated the capability of OSIRIS on the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) for exoplanet science. After earning her doctorate in 2012, she gained postdoctoral experience at the University of Hawaii and Lehigh University. There, she focused on the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres with narrow-band photometry and in the confirmation of planets around bright stars discovered by the KELT transit survey.

Geert will start his new role in June 2015 and Knicole will join us a month later in July.