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Mercedes López-Morales is an astrophysicst at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where she works on the discovery and characterization of exoplanets. She joined the CfA staff in 2012.
While at the Radcliffe Institute, López-Morales is developing new techniques to study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets, once those are discovered by upcoming exoplanet search missions such as NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.
López-Morales was born in Spain, where she received a BSc from the Universidad de La Laguna, in the Canary Islands. She continued her studies in the United States, where she received a PhD in astronomy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow and then a Hubble Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, before returning to Spain as a researcher at the Institut de Ciéncies de l’Espai (Institute of Space Sciences), a research center under the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish National Research Council).