Daniel Koll will postdoc at MIT

Daniel D.B. Koll is set to complete his doctorate in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, under the direction of Dorian Abbot, a founding principal investigator of MCRN.  Daniel’s PhD thesis is on the atmospheres of rocky planets around M-stars.  

M-stars are the most common type of star in the galaxy, and represent one of the best targets for finding a habitable planet outside our solar system. Planets around them are likely to be tidally locked, with a dayside permanently facing the star and a nightside in perpetual darkness. Understanding the atmospheres of such planets is a fundamental challenge to climate scientists, and important for deciphering near-future astronomical observations. 

In his thesis Daniel has been extending theories of atmospheric dynamics that were developed for Earth to these exotic atmospheres. Some highlights include that these atmospheres can be understood as heat engines, an analytical theory for the temperature structure of slowly rotating planets, and a new method that allows astronomers to constrain an atmosphere's thickness from measurements of its day-night infrared contrast. 

Daniel was recently awarded a James McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellowship in Complex Systems. Upon leaving UChicago, he is planning to join the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science at MIT to study the atmospheres and climates of more strange and interesting worlds, including Earth.

Congratulations, Daniel!


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