Victoria (Abby) Boehm

Astronomy & Space Sciences


I am a second-year graduate student interested in the characterization of exoplanet surfaces and atmospheres, with a particular interest in the habitability of these worlds and the detection of biosignatures. I work with Dr. Nikole Lewis on observational exoplanet research, analyzing transit spectroscopy taken with Hubble or with JWST to characterize the atmospheres of distant worlds

I grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State in 2022, obtaining a BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics, a BS in Physics, and a minor in Mathematics. While there, I worked with Dr. Eric Hudson to conduct research into the electronic properties of strained graphene and BSCCO as observed through scanning tunneling microscopy. I also worked remotely with Dr. Danilo Marchesini at Tufts University; I based my thesis project on our research into the evolution of galaxies and the use of medium width K-band filters to improve spectral resolution. Before that, I spent a summer working with Dr. Robert Harmon at Ohio Wesleyan University on the applications of light-curve inversion techniques for inferring starspot maps of the rotating variable star LO Pegasi. Apart from research, I was also engaged in peer mentoring and tutoring programs at Penn State, working as a learning assistant for sophomore-level astrophysics classes and as a tutor for first-year courses in mathematics and physics.

Outside of my research and academic studies, I enjoy hiking, fishing, kayaking, and generally exploring the beautiful wilderness around us. I also like to draw and play piano, and I love video games, especially strategy, roleplaying, and action-adventure games. On clear nights, I try my hand at astrophotography; my favorite targets for imaging are galaxies and I especially love the peculiar Tadpole Galaxy.