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Katherine Follette

, Physics and Astronomy, Amherst College

Research Focus
About Katherine
I am an observational astronomer working to understand the physics of planet formation and growth. I use ground and space-based high-contrast imaging techniques to find and characterize young (proto)planets and brown dwarfs. This involves both studying them directly, and observing them indirectly through their interactions with the disks of material surrounding their young host stars (circumstellar disks). My primarily undergraduate research group works to develop tools and techniques to accurately identify and interpret the signals of substellar objects embedded in these disks. We use these measurements to understand where and when planets form in young systems, and to test the predictions of various planet formation paradigms.
I also run an educational research study called the Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) study, which is focused on understanding how to best help students learn real world numerical skills through introductory science courses for non-majors.


2022 - Cottrell Scholar

2016 - Sagan Fellow

2009 - NSF GRFP Fellow

2004 - J William Fulbright Fellow


Kavli Institute, Stanford University, 01/2015 - 12/2016


Astronomy, University of Arizona, 12/2014


Astronomy, University of Arizona, 06/2010


Physics, Japanese Studies, Middlebury College, 05/2004

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