I’m a fourth year graduate student studying exoplanets with Prof. Dan Huber and Prof. Lauren Weiss (at Notre Dame). I study the compositions of Earth-size and Super-Earth exoplanets and I’m an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. I’m currently the IfA Graduate Student Representative, so feel free to reach out with on grad-student related topics!

Outside of astronomy, I love to cook/bake food from around the world and go hiking.  I’m an organizing chair for Academic Labor United, advocating for unionization rights. Living in Hawai’i has made me particularly invested in indigenous rights and decolonization.


Ph.D. Topic

Topic: Understanding the Diversity of Rocky Planet Compositions, and their Connection to Host Star Abundances
Committee: Dan Huber(Chair), Lauren Weiss, Eric Gaidos, Jennifer van Saders, Diana Valencia, Mike Bottom, and Richard Zeebe

My thesis “Planets made of Star Stuff” aims to understand wide diversity of Earth-size exoplanet compositions that we can infer from their density measurements, and whether that planet’s composition reflects that of its host star. I use both Keck/HIRES and Maroon-X on Gemini to measure planet masses using Radial Velocities, and use geologically motivated planet modeling software called Burnman. My goal is to help us understand how Earth-size planets form across the galaxy, and how singular or commonplace the Earth actually is.

Before this, I’ve worked on a wide range of topics in astronomy: from comets, to pulsars, to SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Originally from Vermont, I went to UVM for a B.S. in physics where I studied “LGM-1” aka pulsars. You can check out my two first author papers here and here! After graduating, I worked on the Breakthrough Listen project at the Berkeley SETI Research Center and contributed to two Fast Radio Bursts papers (here and here). My first project at the IfA was on the discovery of comet C/2017 O1.


  • Investigation of the Mode-Switching Phenomenon in Pulsar B0329+54 Through Polarimetric Analysis
  • No Pulsar Left Behind. I. Timing, Pulse-sequence Polarimetry, and Emission Morphology for 12 pulsars

Casey Lynn Brinkman

NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Bachelor of Science, 2017, University of Vermont
  • Ph.D. Topic: Understanding the Diversity of Rocky Planet Compositions, and their Connection to Host Star Abundances
IfA Mānoa,