Catherine Slaughter, M.Sc.

Astrophysicist | Scicomm Enthusiast
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Catherine Slaughter is an early-career astronomer and PhD Candidate at the Minnesota Institute for astrophysics. Her research interests are primarily in stellar and planetary astronomy, with particular focus on the long-term co-evolutions of stellar populations, individual stars, and planetary systems. Her current project–co-advised by Prof. Evan Skillman at UMN and Prof. Dan Weisz at UC Berkeley–is a study of RR Lyrae populations in several nearby dwarf galaxies, with particular emphasis on a comparative analysis of existing time-series observations from JWST and HST.

Along with her research work, she dedicates herself to the greater astrophysics community through her roles as an Astrobites daily summary author, an organizing committee member for Virtual Astronomy Software Talks, and assistant on several light pollution monitoring studies associated with Dark Sky International.

Her dedication to research stems from a lifelong love of and dedication to problem solving. This mindset informs the way she goes through the world as a student, a researcher, and (most importantly) a person–there is little in life that can’t be tackled with good-faith effort and a little bit of luck. She considers it an honor and a privilege to continue to solve problems in astronomy.

She is passionate about public outreach in STEM and believes that encouraging people to engage with science is an absolutely critical part of being a scientist. She believes in affirmative inclusivity in the sciences, and is always looking to work on personal growth and for institutional change.

Outside of work, she spends much of her free time reading, listening to or playing music (usually ukulele), weightlifting, and playing fastpitch softball. She is also a HUGE Chicago Cubs baseball fan (this season notwithstanding). During her time in New Hampshire, she developed a love for hiking, kayaking and (of course) climbing, and would love to thru-hike the Appalacian Trail some day.