Laura Pérez

Assistant Professor

Background & Contact Information

Ph.D. en Astrophysics, 2012, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
Research Topics:Planet Formation, Protoplanetary Disks, Young Planets, Interferometric Radio Techniques.
+56 2 29771129

Areas of interest

I’m interested in studying the formation and evolution of planetary systems around young stars, aiming at understanding the physical processes that occur in the disks of dust and gas that orbit stars as they are being born, namely protoplanetary disks. To achieve this goal, I use observations from different instruments, to be able to capture the systems’ behavior at multiple frequencies and tracers. The correct analysis and calibration of these observations allows us to constrain the system properties, to learn about its evolution and to compare these observations with theoretical predictions.


I graduated with a BSc and MSc in Astronomy from Universidad de Chile. I obtained my PhD at the California Institute of Technology, supervised by Dr. John Carpenter and Prof. Anneila Sargent, my thesis was titled “Grain Growth in Proto-Planetary Disks”. Afterwards, I worked at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory with a Jansky Postdoctoral Fellowship, and then I moved to the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie with a Humboldt Research Fellowship. Since September 2017 I have been a Professor at Universidad de Chile, where I lead an investigation group and keep collaborations with international teams.

My participation in international projects include: being part of in the ALMA Long Baseline Campaign to test the maximum resolution capabilities of ALMA, participating through an EVLA Key Science Project in the commissioning to improve and expand the capabilities of the VLA, and being co-PI of the ALMA Large Program DSHARP, co-I of the ALMA Large Program MAPS.

Courses, Projects, Recent Publications

  • Principal Investigator, in charge of the planet formation group at Universidad de Chile composed by; 2 visiting professors, 1 post-doctoral researcher, 2 PhD students, 2 MSc. Students.
  • Professor of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Science. Classes given are Probability and Statistics (2019, 2020) and General Astronomy (2018, 2019).
  • Supervisor of graduate students, 2 PhD thesis, 2 MSc thesis (1 graduated) and various undergraduate investigation projects (5 students).
  • Principal Investigator of ALMA-CONICYT FUND for the development of Chilean Astronomy — 2019 to 2022.
  • Principal Investigator of FONDECYT Initiation in Investigation grant — 2018 to 2021.
  • Principal Investigator of several observation proposals with ALMA, VLT, VLA, CARMA, GBT.
  • Humboldt Research Fellowship — Alexander von Humboldt Foundation — 2015 to 2017 .
  • Jansky Postdoctoral Fellowship — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, EEUU — 2012 to 2015 .