I am currently a PhD researcher at Geneva Observatory, Switzerland. I am working on two large surveys to directly image exoplanets around young stars in the mid-infrared. The first one, called NACO-ISPY, is a high constrast imaging survey of nearby stars with debris disks to detect and characterise giant planets in wide orbits, including 120 GTO nights on VLT/NACO (ESO, Paranal, Chile). The second survey, SPHERE-SHINE (SpHere INfrared survey for Exoplanets) is a large scale direct imaging survey performed with the second-generation high-contrast imager VLT/SPHERE with 200 nights of GTO.

In parallel to direct imaging, I also investigate long period planets and brown dwarfs by coordinating part of the CORALIE spectrograph survey for extra-solar planets using the Euler Swiss telescope (ESO, La Silla, Chile). These long period radial velocity targets serve as ideal candidates for direct imaging, which is allowing me to work towards bridging the gap between these two different detection techniques.

I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first class Masters degree with honours in Physics and Astrophysics. I spent a year of my Masters studying at the Australian National University, where I worked with Kepler K2 data to find hot Jupiters and Neptunes around young stars. Upon my return to Sheffield I worked on a quantum physics summer research project, investigating cavity polariton flows. My final year Masters research involved producing theoretical binary star systems and calculating the resolution limit for detecting these systems, as well as producing models using Monte Carlo simulations to constrain physical parameters of these systems.

I am also very passionate about diversity and inclusion in STEM, helping to organise diversity-orientated seminars and lunches at Geneva Observatory. In my spare time I love yoga, hiking, and traveling.



Background & Expertise






In the press.

Some selected press appearances about my research, outreach and promoting women in science

There are articles in the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Finnish, Russian and Vietnamese.


©2019 by Emily Rickman.