Lisa Kaltenegger (PhD. MSc. MEng.)                                                                                                                                                              

MPIA, Koenigstuhl 17, 69115, Heidelberg, Germany

also  CfA, 60 Garden st. Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

                                                                                                                            photo credit: C. Pulliam CfA


2005    Ph.D., Astrophysics, Karl Franzens Univ Graz / ESTEC         graduated summa cum laude

“Search for Extraterrestrial Planets: DARWIN mission Target Stars & Array Architectures”

1999    M.Sci., Astrophysics, Karl Franzens Univ Graz/IAC       graduated summa cum laude

“Extrasolar Planet Search: Formation of Extrasolar Planets and Detection Methods”   

2001    M.Eng., Physics & Engineering, Univ. of Technology Graz     graduated summa cum laude

“Application of Optical Tweezers in Medicine & Biology”         


Group Leader, Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg, Germany                               

Research Associate, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA       

Lecturer, Harvard Astronomy Department                                                       

Research Associate, Harvard Astronomy Department                                   

Postdoctoral Fellow SAO, Harvard Smithsonian CfA, USA                          

Consultant to ESA Science Dep. AURORA Technolgy: Netherlands         

Young Engineer ESA/ESTEC: Dep. of Future Projects, Netherlands         

Research fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA                           

LIGO 2000 Summer Undergraduate Research Projects, CalTech, USA         

United Nations (UNO), Conference moderator, Austria                                    

JHU 1999 Summer Undergraduate Research Projects, JHU, USA         

Research fellow, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), Spain         


2013    Simons Foundation PI on the “Origins of Life”

2012    Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for Physics, Germany (DFG & BMFW)

2012    German National Young Academy Membership (10/year)

2012    EC Role Model Women in Research & Science Campaign, EU

2010    Conrad Festa Prize lecture, College of Charleston                                                

2009    Tinsley Visiting Scholar, University of Texas Austin                                               

2007    America’s Young Innovator in Arts and Science Award 2007, Smithsonian Magazine

2007    P. Hertelendy Award and Prize Lecture for Outstanding Young Scientist at CfA 2007

2005    Austrian National Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements

2004    Highest Austrian Academic Honor SubAuspices (awarded personally by Austrian president)

2004    National Award of Ministry of Educations for Outstanding Academic Achievement(PhD)

2000    National Award of Ministry of Educations for Outstanding Academic Achievement(MSc)

1996 through 2001 Awards of Academic Achievement, Tech. Univ. Graz & KF Univ Graz


2013 - current    Kepler Working Group on Habitability

2013 - current    Science Co-I on the TESS mission

2012 - current    PI Japanese ELSI Earth and Life Science Institute (1 of 10 PIs)

2009 - current    NASA Extrasolar Planet Analysis Group - Executive Council

2010 - current    Emmy Noether Research Group Award

2009 - current    ISSI team lead “1D/3D effects on Earth-like planets”

2009 - 2013    Co-I, NASA Astrobiology Institute: Advent of Complex Life

2008 - 2009    Lead of the Habitability Group (Pale Blue Dot Initiative)

2007 - 2009    ISSI team "Evolution of Exoplanet Atmospheres and their Characterization"

2005 - 2009    TPF-I: Science Working Group: invited external expert

2002 - 2008    Darwin Science Advisory Committee: member as part of ESA & external expert


April 13    “The most exciting planets for habitability yet.”

May 12    “Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, Awards to Honor Scientific Achievements of Six Early-

                Career Researchers”

Sep 10     “Can We Spot Volcanoes on Alien Worlds?”

Dec 09    “Avatar’s moon Pandora could be real”

Mar 09    "Finding Twin Earths:Harder Than We Thought”

Nov 07    “3 Top Young CfA Astronomers Honored”

Oct 06    “Astronomers reveal first Alien ID chart”


Astrobiology (editorial board), Encyclopedia of astrobiology (field editor)




German: nativeEnglish,Spanish: fluent Italian,Dutch: good      Portuguese: basic

CONFERENCES Organizer     

Scientific Organizing Committee

Dec 13    From Disks to Exoplanets, Hawaii, USA

Jun 13     AGU From Earth to Exoplanets, Annapolis, USA

April 13   EGU Characterization of Exoplanets, Vienna, Austria

Sep 12    From Stars to Exoplanets conference, Munich, Germany

July 12    Exoplanet Atmosphere Characterization, MPIA conference, Heidelberg, Germany

Mar 12     New Quests in Stellar Astrophysics. III. Puerto Vallarta-Mexico

Jan 12     Planets around Stellar remnants, Arecibo, PR

Oct   11    GMT workshop, Harvard, Boston

Oct   11    DPS, Nantes, France, Super-Earths and Life

Sep  11    AG Exoplanets

April 11    EGU -Characterization of Exoplanets

May 10    EGU - Habitability and Characterization of Exoplanets

Oct  09    DPS (Division for Planetary Sciences) 2009, Puerto Rico, 4 exoplanet sessions

July 09    Goldschmidt - Dynamics of Early Earth-Like Planets and Super-Earths, Davos

Nov  08    Cosmic Cataclysms and life ESLAB 08, Frascati, Italy

Aug  08    Super Earth Workshop, Aspen, USA

July  08    Goldschmidt - Early Life, geochemical and dynamical aspects, Vancouver

April 08    AbSciCon 2008, Santa Clara, CA: Plenary Future Missions & what they can detect

April 08    AbSciCon 2008, Santa Clara, CA: Habitability on Super Earths

Feb  08    Physics and Astrophysics of Planetary Systems, Les Houches School, France

Sep  07    European Planetary Science Congress, Berlin: Biomarkers and their detectabilty

Sep  06    European Planetary Science Congress, Potsdam: Concepts of Habitability

May 08    LOC: “Transiting Planets”, IAU Symposium 253, Cambridge, USA

07/08    Journal club: Harvard EPS and CfA Journal club (weekly interdisciplinary meeting)


2010 - ...

2010 - ...

2008 - ...

2008 - 2010

2005 - 2009

2003 - 2004

2001 - 2002

2000 - 2001




1998 - 1999