Click a research topic below to access an ADS library of my publications in that area.

Light Curve Software

Development of techniques and software to produce, calibrate, and classify light curves.

Variable Stars

Detection and characterisation of interesting exoplanet systems.


I am committed to increasing diversity and support for under-represented minorities in our community, especially women in STEAM. Here are some of the mentorship and community support efforts I am or have been involved in:

Girls in STEAM Symposium 2020 - Spotlight Speaker
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars - Lecturer
Caltech Gender Minorities andn Women in Physics, Maths and Astronomy (WiPMA) - Faculty advisor
Caltech Women Mentoring Women - Pod Leader
Astronomy Allies - Ally
New York Academy of Sciences 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures - Mentor


As seen on TV.

How the Universe Works

I have appeared in one season and filmed for a second season of Science Channel's How the Universe Works. I talk about wild planets, our solar system, white dwarfs, how disasters shaped Earth, and the Voyager missions!

NASA's Unexplained Files

I appeared in eight episodes across two seasons of the Discovery Science channel program 'NASA's Unexplained Files', talking about interesting planets discoveries. Click above for a short clip about Kepler-186f.

The Science Behind "The Expanse"

I joined the cast, writers and production crew of the Syfy show "The Expanse" in a live, recorded panel event at Caltech discussing some of the fantastic science behind the show.

NASA Social - TESS Mission

I was a panelist on the NASA Social TESS mission pre-launch briefing, setting the stage of the current exoplanet landscape to explain the need for a mission like TESS.

The Today Show

I was interviewed on The Today Show, a breakfast talk show in Australia, to chat about why NASA is searching for exoplanets.


I sat down with Allen Saakyan for an episode of his Simulation series to chat about all things exoplanets.

As heard on the air:

July, 2021: Strange New Worlds Podcast: Diversity in STEM and Star Trek
July, 2021: Swiss Public Radio: Pirouetting in Space
July, 2021: NASA's Curious Universe: Let's Go Planet-Hunting!
July, 2020: Exoplanets: The Search for Another Earth - Audible Original Podcast
May, 2020: NASA & SpaceX - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
February, 2020: Starts With A Bang Podcast #53: Exoplanets from Kepler to TESS and beyond
October, 2019: Spellbound Episode 84: Exoplanets w/ NASA's Dr. Jessie Christiansen
June, 2019: NPR: Astronomers Worry That Elon Musk's New Satellites Will Ruin The View
April, 2019: NPR: Young Astronomer Uses Artificial Intelligence To Discover 2 Exoplanets
March, 2019: ABC Radio National The Science Show: Hunt for exoplanets continues after Kepler
November, 2018: NASA lands on Mars - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
August, 2018: Space, Nightclubs and Happy Places - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
August, 2018: From Peak Crossing to NASA - 4BC Drive with Mark Braybrook
June, 2018: Topical Island Podcast: Exoplanets 2 - Wheel of Death
May, 2018: Astrophiz 58: Dr. Jessie Christiansen 'Flying with TESS to a billion planets'
March, 2018: ABC Radio National The Science Show: Exoplanet gem unearthed in Stargazing Live
December, 2017: Surely You're Joking: Jessie Christiansen and the Goldilocks retraction
July, 2017: Spacepod Episode 102: A thrilling tale of discovery with Dr. Christiansen
May, 2016: Surely You're Joking: Jessie Christiansen and the hedonic treadmill of planets
April, 2016: Spacepod Episode 42: Finding Exoplanets with Dr. Christiansen

Jessie recording a podcast

Press releases, news articles and quotes...

Dinosaurs in SPAAAAAAAAACE coverage
Did you know that dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy? Here's a short animation I made showing how the solar system orbits around the center of the galaxy, and where the Earth was when some of your favourite dinosaurs reigned!

And here is some press about the animation:
7/14/20, Buzzfeed: 20 Fascinating Things I Learned From Twitter That I Can't Believe Never Came Up In School
11/13/19, CNN: Earth Was On The Other Side Of the Galaxy When Dinosaurs Reigned
11/9/19, MSN: Mind-blower: NASA says dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy
11/8/19, IFLScience: Dinosaurs Lived On The Other Side Of The Galaxy, NASA Astrophysicist Demonstrates
11/7/19, Business Insider: A NASA scientist's incredible animation shows how dinosaurs roamed the Earth on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy

K2-138 coverage:
2/8/18, AAS Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout: 5 Alien Worlds: Planetary system around K2-138
1/15/18, Cosmos: Music of the spheres: chain of planets rotates at "perfect fifth" intervals
1/12/18, BBC News: Citizen science bags five-planet haul
1/12/18, Gizmodo: Star System With Five Rocky Planets Discovered by Amateur Astronomers
1/11/18, Caltech press release: Citizen Scientists Discover Five-Planet System

The astronomers behind System Sounds (particularly postdoc Matt Russo) have created a beautiful visual and aural experience of our new exoplanet system. It is SO COOL. Every time one of the planets passes between us and the star, it makes a note. The tone of the note (how high or low it is) is determined by the planet's orbital period. It sounds so pretty because of the cool chain of resonances that these planets are in! Have a listen!

Other articles and quotes:

8/11/21, The Atlantic: Faraway Planets Don’t Seem So Distant Anymore
5/11/21, Spaceflight Insider: Exoplanets and their characterization the focus of STScI workshop
3/26/21, NASA's TESS planet hunter spied 2,200 candidate worlds in its first 2 years
2/20/21, Universe Today: Just Some of the Planets That TESS Has Found Nearby
2/12/21, Science Daily: NASA's TESS discovers new worlds in a river of young stars

11/5/20, New Scientist: There could be around 5 billion habitable planets in the Milky Way
7/13/20, Phys.Org: Artificial intelligence predicts which planetary systems will survive
6/25/20, Axios: Newfound exoplanets aren't too far from Earth
4/20/20, NASA: The Weirdest Solar System We've Found So Far? You May Be In It
1/21/20, Axios: Astronomy's existential crisis

12/23/19, Business Insider: Astronomers found 6 unusual new planets
12/16/19, Another Day, Another Exoplanet, and Scientists Just Can't Keep Up
11/19/19, NASA: Why Do Scientists Search for Exoplanets? Here Are 7 Reasons
9/11/19, Axios: Water vapor detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth
8/28/19, NASA: Is Earth an Oddball?
8/4/19, New Scientist: Two planets orbiting a nearby star could have oceans and maybe life
8/2/19, Scientific American: One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data
6/5/19, Washington Post: Elon Musk's satellites threaten to disrupt the night sky for all of us
5/28/19, National Geographic: 18 Earth-size planets found in our galaxy—all hiding in plain sight
5/27/19, Forbes: SpaceX's Starlink Could Change The Night Sky Forever, And Astronomers Are Not Happy
5/23/19, Gizmodo: Astronomers Spy Three Comets Circling a Nearby Star
1/28/19, Gizmodo: What's the Worst Planet?
1/11/19, NBC News: Citizen scientists discover strange new world that pro astronomers missed
1/8/19, How to Tune a Star System: Alien World Complicates Harmony of Multiplanet System
1/7/19, Gizmodo: Government Shutdown Puts Damper on America's Major Astronomy Conference
9/25/18, To Find Alien Life, NASA Needs Bigger, Bolder Exoplanet-Hunting Telescopes
8/18/18, Bendigo Advertiser: Why the next generation of scientists will be women
8/15/18, The West Australian: NASA's Aussie planet hunter looks for life
8/15/18, Cosmos: Queensland looks to the skies this week
8/13/18, Ballarat Courier: Ballarat visit for the Australian planet hunter looking for other worlds
8/8/18, New NASA Planet Hunter May Find 10,000 Alien Worlds in Just Two Years
8/1/18, Gizmodo: This Solar System Catalogue Could Be Key To Finding An Earth-Like Exoplanet
7/31/18, Griffith News: Stellar Science graduates to shine at Alumni Awards
7/31/18, Gizmodo Australia: NASA's TESS Spacecraft Has Begun Its Search For Faraway Planets
5/14/18, Gizmodo: Spacecraft May Have Flown Right Through a Plume of Water on Jupiter's Moon Europa
5/3/18, CBS New York: NASA Getting Help Exploring The Universe From 'Citizen Scientists'
4/18/18, Washington Post: NASA's newest planet hunter launches successfully
3/27/18, Newsweek: Newly discovered Earth-sized planet K2-229b could reveal how Mercury was created
2/15/18, Newsweek: NASA Kepler' K2 Mission scientists discover 95 new planets beyond our solar system

8/8/17, Christian Science Monitor: Hunt for other worlds: 3,500 exoplanets and counting
6/11/17, HD 3167d: New Super-Earth Discovered around Nearby Star
4/18/17, USCS News: Planet hunting citizen scientists produce quick results for astronomers
3/1/17, Christian Science Monitor: Could the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets harbor alien life?

10/3/16, New Scientist: Superfast spinning stars cause strangest weather in the universe
9/6/16, FiveThirtyEight: Why It's So Hard to Find the Next Earth, Even if You're Looking Right At It
7/6/16, How a Young Jupiter Acted as Both Protector and Destroyer
5/10/16, BBC News Hour: On Kepler's Discovery of 1284 New Planets
1/7/16, BBC Science News: Star clumps harbour 'sweet spot' in search for alien life


Exoplanet Roulette - Choose. Your. Fate.

PSO J318.5+22
WD 1145+017
HD 189733 b
Kepler-78 b
alpha Cen B b
Kepler-452 b
Kepler-186 f
OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b
55 Cnc e
WASP-76 b

Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places

During the covid pandemic, the Exoplanet Demographics conference that I organized movely fully virtual. Wanting to exploit the format to explore some new, innovative outreach ideas, Heather Clitheroe and I teamed up to produce "Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places", a daily zine during the conference comprising short stories, poetry, and art inspired by the science results being presented that day.
Thank you so much to all the amazing contributors, and without further ado, please enjoy!!

Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Monday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Tuesday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Wednesday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Thursday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Friday


I love talking to the public about astronomy, our beautiful sky, and the exciting hunt for planets outside out solar system. I am so lucky that I get the opportunity!

Here is a blog post I wrote for the Society of Women Engineers about the difference between outreach and reaching out, and the importance of considering accessibility issues in astronomy outreach.

Here are some upcoming and recent events:

December: Guest speaker, Greenway Talk Series
November: Guest speaker, Malibu Library Speaker Series
October: Guest speaker, SETI Live for World Space Week
May: Monthly guest, Space Radio with Paul Sutter
April: Guest speaker, Universe Today with Fraser Cain
April: Panelist, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
April: Alfred Curtis Lecture, British Astronomical Association
March: Guest speaker, San Jose Astronomical Association
February: Panelist, SETI Talks: Strange and Intriguing Exoplanets

November: Host, World-Building: How Science Sculpts Science Fiction
October: Guest speaker, George Mason University Virtual Evening Under the Stars
September: Guest speaker, Tellus Science Museum Exoplanet Workshop
August: Spotlight speaker, Griffith University Open House, Spotlight on STEM
July: Guest speaker, East Valley Astronomy Club
May: Guest speaker, Central Coast Astronomical Society
April: Featured speaker, Wildwood Institute for Stem Research and Development
April: Presenter, Astronomy on Tap on the Couch!
March: Spotlight speaker, Girls in STEAM Symposium 2020
February: Panelist, "The Plausible (and Implausible!) Worlds of Doctor Who" at Gallifrey One
February: Podcast guest, Starts With A Bang

November: Guest speaker, CSUN Planetarium Star Show
September: Guest speaker, 2019 Idaho Star Party
August: Guest speaker, AIAA LA-LV Dinner Meeting
May: Guest speaker, College of the Canyons Star Party
April: John D. Schopp Memorial Lecture, San Diego
March: Guest speaker, Open Space 30: Searching for Exoplanets with Dr. Jessie Christiansen
March: von Kármán Lecture, Pasadena
January: Host, Girl Scout Troop 5151 at Caltech Lecture and Lunar Eclipse Viewing

2018 - National Science Week, Australia
August 11th, 3pm @ Shipinn Southbank, Brisbane: "On the Road to a Billion Planets"
August 13th, 10am @ RMIT University, Melbourne: "Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction - A NASA Scientist Tells"
August 13th, 7:15pm @ Scienceworks, Melbourne: "NASA's Planet Hunters: Panel discussion with Dr Jessie Christiansen"
August 14th, 11am @ Discovery Science & Technology Centre, Bendigo: "NASA Exoplanet Scientist Talk"
August 14th, 6:15pm @ Ballarat Observatory, Ballarat: "Truth is Stranger than (Science) Fiction"
August 16th, 6:30pm @ Gold Coast City Libraries, Robina: "NASA on tour: Our incredible universe"
August 17th, 6pm @ USQ Toowoomba: USQ Winter Festival of Astronomy Main Event, "On the Road to a Billion Planets"
August 18th, 4pm @ Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Brisbane: "Truth is Stranger than (Science) Fiction"

September: Speaker, Local Group Astronomy Club, Santa Clarita CA
August: Special lecturer, USQ Winter Festival of Astronomy, Toowoomba QLD
July: Panelist, San Diego Comic Con
June: Speaker, Evening with the Pros, Society for Astronomical Sciences
April: Speaker, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party (video recording)
March: Speaker, Riverside Astronomical Society
March: Speaker, NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing
February: Guest speaker, Exolife Hangout: Finding Earth 2.0
February: Guest speaker, Weekly Space Hangout: Dr. Jessie Christiansen and "Exoplanet Explorers"

December: Panelist, Is the Earth Special?
December: Podcast guest, Surely You're Joking!
October: Caltech Astronomy presents Sidewalk Astronomy in Old Town Pasadena
August: Panelist, The Official Star Trek 2017 Convention
August: Telescope captain, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
July: Podcast guest, Spacepod
April: Speaker, Society for Astronomical Sciences
February: Speaker, Los Angeles Astronomical Society

October: Telescope captain, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
August: Speaker, NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing
August: Speaker, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
June: Speaker, Astronomy on Tap
June: Speaker, AAS 228 Student Education and Outreach Event
May: Podcast guest, Surely You're Joking!
April: Podcast guest, Spacepod

And, if you made it to the bottom of this page, enjoy a bonus picture of one of the highlights of my career, organizing a panel of amazing science fiction writers Becky Chambers, Simon Guerrier, Mary Robinette Kowal, and John Scalzi, emceed by the Bad Astronomer himself, Phil Plait!!

World Building Webinar