Néstor Espinoza

Assistant Astronomer & Mission Scientist

STScI (Baltimore, USA) | Full CV in PDF version


Ph.D. in Astrophysics 2012 – 2017

Instituto de Astrofísica
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Summa cum laude.

Licenciate in Astronomy 2007 – 2012

Instituto de Astrofísica
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Summa cum laude.

Research Experience

Mission Scientist 2023 – present

  • Oversee support of exoplanet science for both the JWST and the HST missions at STScI.

Assistant Astronomer 2019 – present

  • Development of an independent research project on exoplanet detection and characterization and part of the INS Divison Office as the Mission Scientist for exoplanet science at STScI.

Bernoulli Fellowship 2017 – 2019

  • Development of an independent research project on exoplanet atmospheres jointly between the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (2 years) and the University of Bern (2 years).

Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics 2016

Research Intern (PI: Jonathan Fortney)

  • Performed astrophysical modelling of protoplanetary disks in order to predict the composition of giant exoplanet atmospheres as part of the Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics. This work was done under the supervision of Jonathan Fortney and Yamila Miguel.

Millenium Institute of Astrophysics 2013 – 2017

Research Assistant (PI: Andrés Jordán)

  • Software development, data analysis and astrophysical interpretation of time-domain astronomical phenomena, focused on the detection of extrasolar planets. This included developing fast algorithms for obtaining high precision photometry, radial velocities and high spatial resolution imaging.

Department of Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics (PUC)2012 – 2014

Research Assistant (PI: Susana Eyheramendy)

  • Spent 2 years working on the automated classification of variable stars using Machine Learning algorithms.

Fellowships & Awards

Gruber fellowship 2018

Fellowship awarded by The Gruber Foundation, appointed by the IAU.

100 Young Chilean Leaders2017

Selected as one of the 100 leaders under 35 by El Mercurio newspaper.

Bernoulli Fellowship 2017

Fellowship granted to two PhD holders around the world.

PUC Young Student Leader 2016

Yearly recognition given to 20 students from the university

Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics Fellowship2016

Granted to 17 PhD students around the world

People's Choice Award 2014

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) PUC Competition

Distinguished Graduate Student Award 2014

Chilen Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS)

CONICYT Fellowship 2013 – 2017

CONICYT, Chilean Ministry of Education