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Clara Sousa-Silva

Center for Astrophysics
51 Pegasi b Fellow


Clara Sousa-Silva is a quantum astrochemist and science communicator. She investigates how molecules interact with light so that they can be detected on faraway worlds. Clara spends most of her time studying molecules that life can produce so that, one day, she can detect an alien biosphere. Her favorite molecular biosignature is phosphine: a terrifying gas associated with mostly unpleasant life. When she is not deciphering exoplanet atmospheres, Clara works hard to persuade the next generation of scientists to become an active part of the astronomical community.

MPhys Physics and Astronomy (University of Edinburgh); PhD in Molecular Astrophysics (University College London)