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Malena Rice

Postdoc, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Focus
About Malena
Malena Rice is a 51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow at the MIT Kavli Institute and an incoming Assistant Professor in the Yale Astronomy Department. Her research probes the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and she works on a range of related topics including hot Jupiter formation, stellar spectroscopy, and the hunt for Planet Nine. Before arriving at MIT, Malena received her B.A. in Physics and B.A. in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley, and her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. (2022) in Astronomy at Yale University. Malena is passionate about STEM education and accessibility, and she has been heavily involved in various public outreach efforts. Outside of science, her eclectic interests include visiting modern and contemporary art galleries, lifting weights, playing the flute, and eating great bread.


2023 - Forbes 30 Under 30 (Science)

2022 - 51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellowship

2021 - P.E.O. Scholar Award

2021 - Yale 3-Minute Thesis Competition "Best in STEM" Award

2020 - DDA/AAS Raynor L. Duncombe Student Research Prize

2019 - NASA CT Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship

2016, 2x - UC Berkeley Regents' and Chancellor's Research Fellowship

2016 - Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholarship

2016 - NASA CA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Fellowship

2016 - UC Berkeley Leadership Award

2016 - UCL International Students Dean's Summer Student Scholarship

2015 - Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholarship

2013 - UC Berkeley Leadership Award

2013 - UC Berkeley Regents' and Chancellor's Scholarship


MIT Kavli Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 06/2022 - 07/2023


Astronomy, Yale University, 02/2022


Astronomy (M.S.), Yale University, 05/2020

Astronomy (M.Phil.), Yale University, 05/2020


Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 05/2017

Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 05/2017

Interested in
  • Mentoring
  • Mentorship
  • Speaking
  • Professional Service (e.g. review panels)
  • Science Outreach
  • Consulting
  • DEI/STEM Community Engagement
Contact Malena




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