Aleksandra Kuznetsova

NHFP Sagan Fellow

American Museum of Natural History

About Me

I am a computational astrophysicist, currently appointed as a NHFP Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History.

My science is aimed at finding out what the most important dynamic drivers of planet formation are -- ultimately, so that we can use our understanding of star and planet formation physics to make predictions about planet populations in the Galaxy.

I am interested in the many ways people talk about and conceive of science, especially in informal settings and with some liberal blurring of disciplinary boundaries. My science communication work is primarily within museums, including work done with institutions like the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium.

You can contact me with questions about my work at:

astro [dot] kuznetsova [at] gmail [dot] com

Research Interests: Star and Planet Formation

My primary research interests are centered around connecting star and planet formation in order to understand how the star formation environment affects the kinds of planetary systems we observe.

To do this, I use (magneto) hydrodynamic simulations to investigate the dynamical processes that are liable to occur during the earliest stages of protostellar and protoplanetary disk formation and evolution, focusing on the infall of material onto these systems.

You can visit the Research page for more details.

Science Communication

My interdisciplinary interests are fairly broad -- I think that looking outside our own domains makes us better scientists, communicators, and community members.

These interests have led me to pursue science communication in various settings: museums, planetaria, Astronomy on Tap pub events, and the Science Communication Fellows Program at UMMNH. I hold a graduate certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan, with an independent study specifically focused on science communication.

During the summer of 2020, I held an internship position at the Adler Planetarium solely dedicated to communication work. There I worked as part of the Space Visualization Lab (SVL) and the Adler-Zooniverse Team. I had the opportunity to mentor teens as part of the Adler Summer Teen Intern Program and do some science writing; I am one of the authors of the Zooniverse Highlights (2nd Ed.) book.