Catherine Slaughter

Proto-Astrophysicist | Scicomm Enthusiast
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"When we explore the cosmos, we come to believe and prove that we can solve problems that have never been solved. It brings out the best in us."

-Bill Nye


My name is Catherine Slaughter, and I am an early-career astronomer whose research interests sit at the intersection of computational and observational astrophysics, particularly with applications in stellar and planetary astronomy. I double-majored in Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, receiving my Bachelor’s in 2021. I am currently studying Astronomy Research at Leiden University in The Netherlands, and expect to defend my Master’s thesis in July 2023. After earning my MSc, I look forward to pursuing a PhD in Astronomy or Physics, most likely back in the United States. My dedication to research stems from a lifelong love of problem solving. I am happiest when I am fixing what’s been previously broken, making better what’s just ok, and creating solutions to problems that perhaps didn’t exist before. This mindset informs the way I go through the world as a student, a researcher, and (most importantly) a person. Whether it is at a university, NASA, or with any number of other astrophysics research facilities worldwide, I would consider it an honor and a privilege to get to continue solving problems in astrophysics as my life’s work.

I am passionate about public outreach in STEM and believe that encouraging people to engage with science is an absolutely critical part of being a scientist. I absolutely love teaching, and take any opportunity I can to work as a tutor, a TA, or a public lecturer. I believe in affirmative inclusivity in the sciences, and am always trying to work on my own personal growth and for institutional change.

Outside of school and research, I spend much of my free time reading, listening to or playing music (usually ukulele), and playing fastpitch softball with my team here in Leiden. I am a HUGE Chicago Cubs baseball fan (this season notwithstanding). Back in New Hampshire I developed a love for hiking, kayaking and (of course) climbing, and I would love to thru-hike the Appalacian Trail some day.

(Doesn’t every astronomer have too many photos in front of various telescope domes?)