New UC Irvine faculty member Aomawa Shields studies the climate on distant planets. Her aim: find those most likely to host alien life. The UCLA alum is a classically trained actress, a secret "superpower" that helps her make science accessible.
Shields is among a bumper crop of 24 new hires to come to UC this year from the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which helps prepare outstanding Ph.Ds for faculty careers. The program has been lauded as a national model for expanding faculty diversity.
She talked to UC Newsroom about the search for ET, the link between art and astrophysics, and her work mentoring middle school girls to create a new generation of star scientists.
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