Astronomer, The National Optical Astronomy Observatories
Joan Najita is an Astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories. Her main research interests are in star formation and the formation and evolution of planetary systems. She has extensive experience studying the gaseous component of circumstellar disks. These studies are aimed at understanding the physical mechanisms that govern star formation and how the evolution of the gaseous component of disks impacts the resulting planetary system architectures. Joan received her Ph.D in astronomy from UC Berkeley in 1993. She received a CfA postdoctoral fellowship and was an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute before joining the scientific staff at NOAO in 1998. She is also a recipient of the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy.