Stephanie Hamilton, PhD (she/her) is a planetary scientist and science communicator
passionate about making science accessible to everyone and empowering other researchers to do the same.

She's known as SpaceSciSteph on Twitter and Instagram, where she shares content related to
astronomy, science communication, and the importance of mental health.

If you want to learn more about either astronomy or science communication, look no further!

Planetary Science

As an observational astronomer, Stephanie used the Dark Energy Survey project to discover and study objects in the Kuiper Belt region of the Solar System.

Science Communication

A trained science communicator, Stephanie's written work has appeared on Astrobites, The Planetary Society, and The Union of Concerned Scientists. She completed a 2019 AAAS Mass Media fellowship and has given numerous public talks.

Sci-Comm Training

Stephanie has trained over 500 researchers to communicate science effectively through the RELATE organization at UMich and as an active member of ComSciCon.

Highlighted projects

☄  Science  ☄

A Distant Dwarf Planet

In July 2016, my research group's solar system object search algorithm returned the second-most distant object discovered to-date at that time. Because we suspected it to be a dwarf planet, I nicknamed it DeeDee for "distant dwarf." I led a successful telescope proposal to take additional measurements and conducted the subsequent analysis that enabled a calculation of DeeDee's size.

Planet Nine

Planet Nine is a proposed, undiscovered, distant super-Earth planet in our solar system, motivated by the curious alignment in physical space of the most distant trans-Neptunian objects. However, a debate emerged shortly after P9's proposal regarding the significance of this alignment and whether it could be attributed to biases in observations. I examined the objects discovered by the Dark Energy Survey that fit the Planet Nine criteria to provide a third, independent voice in the debate.

Science Communication

The Communicating Science Conference

As a graduate student, I cofounded ComSciCon-Michigan, chaired ComSciCon-MI 2019, and organized the Flagship conference. Now, I serve on the Leadership Team as the Write-a-thon lead and the ComSciConversations blog editor.


After completing RELATE's intensive science communication workshop, I joined the leadership team and contributed to shaping the organization's future direction. I've taught the 10-week workshop, guest lectured around and off-campus, and am leading discussions about expanding RELATE's model beyond UMich.

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