Get to know the new Assistant Professor at the Department of Astrophysics – Sudeshna Boro Saikia

© Sudeshna Boro Saikia

Sudeshna Boro Saikia is since December 2022 Assistant Professor at the Department of Astrophysics of the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on exoplanet atmospheres, that is, atmospheres of planets that circle a star different than our Sun. More particularly, she is interested in understanding what makes a planet habitable, and the role of the host star.  

Sudeshna, together with her colleagues Manuel Güdel (Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna) and Aiko Voigt (Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna) were awarded in 2021 with the Emerging Field Grant of the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy to  carry out research on this topic. The PhD project uses James Webb Space Telescope data to study atmospheric composition of exoplanets.

Sudeshna is also involved in two European Space Agency missions (ESA). She is star-planet interaction working group coordinator of ESA’s ARIEL mission. ARIEL will carry out a survey of about 1000 exoplanets and their atmospheres. The expected launce is in 2029. She is also member of the ESA PLATO mission, which aims at studying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars with a planned launch in 2026.

Sudeshna is not new at the University of Vienna. She first joined the Department of Astrophysics as a postdoctoral researcher in 2017. She continued working here as an awardee of the Lise Meitner Fellowship from the FWF until last year.