Student Profile

Emma Lovett | iCons

Emma Lovett, 2021


Astrophysics and Physics


Randolph, MA

I want to spearhead outreach programs to make astronomy accessible to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx POC.

What is your current research?
I am working with Professor John Silverman at the University of Tokyo and the Kavli IPMU in Japan to conduct extragalactic research remotely. The goal of the research project is to determine a correlation between the mass of the dark matter halo that galaxies reside in and the individual galaxy morphologies. Trends will be analyzed in three different halo mass environments, selected as the field region, groups of galaxies, and galaxy clusters. I am mainly looking at galaxy radius, a shape parameter, a galaxy's star formation rate, and a galaxy's distance from the center of its group or cluster. This research will hopefully give insight on galaxy evolution.

How has iCons helped you in your academic career?
My goal of becoming an astrobiologist was largely inspired by the interdisciplinary research iCons introduced me to.  Collaboration between the sciences is something I want to explore for the rest of my career.  Aside from academics, iCons stresses the importance of weighing the ethical impacts of proposed solutions.  I employed these skills to volunteer in the fight against budget cuts in my hometown's underfunded school district.  By identifying the problem and brainstorming possible solutions to the educational inequality that low-income, predominantly Black and Brown communities face, the benefits of and motivations for joining iCons were clear!

Why did you choose UMass Amherst?
UMass is a huge community of people! I know that especially when studying sciences, it's extremely important to surround yourself with different perspectives, which is easily accessible on a campus as large as UMass. #1 Dining doesn't hurt, either.

Tell us something that is interesting or unique about you?
I am a voice on the iCons "A Little About A Lot" podcast in an effort to make science education more accessible to the public.

What do you hope to do after UMass Amherst?
After graduation, I hope to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Astrophysics. I want to focus my career and research on exoplanetary studies and the search for life in our universe. I also want to spearhead outreach programs to make astronomy more accessible to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx POC.