About

Aloha! I am the Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai`i, Mānoa. I use observational techniques to discover exoplanets and characterize their fundamental properties.  My research highlights include:

  • Discovered the distinction between rocky and gas-enveloped planets at 1.5 Earth radii (410 citations)
  • Discovered the similar sizes and regular orbital spacings of planets in coplanar, multi-planet systems (95 citations)
  • Developed and led exoplanet population surveys with large-aperture ground-based telescopes: California-Kepler Survey I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX (2013-2020), TESS-Keck Survey I, II, III (2019-present), Kepler Masses-in-Multis Survey (2019-present)
  • Developed and improved software for self-consistent analysis of Doppler and transit-timing variations to discover planets and determine their masses and orbits
  • Commissioned the Automated Planet Finder, a 2.3m fully automated telescope at Lick Observatory, CA
  • Conceptualized and led initial development (to TRL 4) of a compact lidar imaging spectrograph for solar system exploration, NASA Ames Research Center

Research

My work consists of large observational programs to measure fundamental exoplanet properties, with the overarching goal of understanding the origin and evolution of planetary systems.

Activities

  • UH-NASA Composition Diversity in Multi-Planet Systems Survey, PI, 2019-2021
  • TESS-Keck Survey, Co-I, 2019-2021
  • California-Kepler Survey, Co-I, 2015-2019
  • California Planet Search, Senior Member, 2011-

Publications

  • Berger, T. A., Huber, D., Gaidos, E., van Saders, J. L., & Weiss, L. M. (2020), The Gaia-Kepler Stellar Properties Catalog. II. Planet Radius Demographics as a Function of Stellar Mass and Age The Astronomical Journal 160, 108
  • Weiss, L. M., Fabrycky, D. C., Agol, E., et al. (2020), The Discovery of the Long-Period, Eccentric Planet Kepler-88 d and System Characterization with Radial Velocities and Photodynamical Analysis The Astronomical Journal 159, 242
  • Weiss, L. M. & Petigura, E. A. (2020), The Kepler Peas in a Pod Pattern is Astrophysical The Astrophysical Journal 893, L1
  • Mills, S. M., Howard, A. W., Weiss, L. M., et al. (2019), Long-period Giant Companions to Three Compact, Multiplanet Systems The Astronomical Journal 157, 145
  • Blunt, S., Endl, M., Weiss, L. M., et al. (2019), Radial Velocity Discovery of an Eccentric Jovian World Orbiting at 18 au The Astronomical Journal 158, 181
  • Weiss, L. M., Isaacson, H. T., Marcy, G. W., et al. (2018), The California-Kepler Survey. VI. Kepler Multis and Singles Have Similar Planet and Stellar Properties Indicating a Common Origin The Astronomical Journal 156, 254
  • Weiss, L. M., Marcy, G. W., Petigura, E. A., et al. (2018), The California-Kepler Survey. V. Peas in a Pod: Planets in a Kepler Multi-planet System Are Similar in Size and Regularly Spaced The Astronomical Journal 155, 48
  • Weiss, L. M., Deck, K. M., Sinukoff, E., et al. (2017), New Insights on Planet Formation in WASP-47 from a Simultaneous Analysis of Radial Velocities and Transit Timing Variations The Astronomical Journal 153, 265
  • Weiss, L. M., Rogers, L. A., Isaacson, H. T., et al. (2016), Revised Masses and Densities of the Planets around Kepler-10 The Astrophysical Journal 819, 83
  • Fulton, B. J., Weiss, L. M., Sinukoff, E., et al. (2015), Three Super-Earths Orbiting HD 7924 The Astrophysical Journal 805, 175
  • Marcy, G. W., Weiss, L. M., Petigura, E. A., et al. (2014), Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4x Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 111, 12655
  • Weiss, L. M. & Marcy, G. W. (2014), The Mass-Radius Relation for 65 Exoplanets Smaller than 4 Earth Radii The Astrophysical Journal 783, L6
  • Weiss, L. M., Marcy, G. W., Rowe, J. F., et al. (2013), The Mass of KOI-94d and a Relation for Planet Radius, Mass, and Incident Flux The Astrophysical Journal 768, 14

Awards

Grants

  • NASA-Keck Key Strategic Mission Support Award, 16 Keck Nights + $150K
  • Beatrice Watson Parrent Fellowship
  • Trottier Fellowship
  • Ken & Gloria Levy Fellowship
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Herchel Smith Harvard Scholarship

Honors

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley, 2013
  • Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, Harvard University, for an outstanding senior thesis, 2011
  • Leo Goldberg Prize, Harvard University, for an outstanding junior thesis, 2009
  • Chambliss Astronomy Student Achievement Award, American Astronomical Society, 2009
  • Intel Science Talent Search Semi-finalist, 2006
  • Bausch & Lomb Award, University of Rochester, 2005

Advisees

Students

Current
  • Casey Brinkman
  • Jingwen Zhang

Parrent Fellow
Ph.D. 2016, University of California at Berkeley
  • UH-NASA Composition Diversity in Multi-Planet Systems Survey, PI, 2019-2021
  • TESS-Keck Survey, Co-I, 2019-2021
  • California-Kepler Survey, Co-I, 2015-2019
  • California Planet Search, Senior Member, 2011-
IfA Mānoa, C-120
(808) 956-8531(808) 956-8531