Lisa Prato, Astronomer
Lisa Prato’s research focuses on measuring accurate dynamical mass ratios in the closest binary star systems in some of the youngest known star-forming regions. Her other interests include the structure and evolution of planet-forming circumstellar disks, the measurement of magnetic fields of young stars, and the close binary frequency among both young and old brown dwarfs — failed stars that bridge the gap in mass between planets and the lowest mass stars. After leaving Stony Brook in 1998, Lisa held two post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California, Los Angeles, before moving to Lowell in 2004. Most of her work exploits the power of high-resolution infrared spectroscopy; she also uses photometry, interferometry, and millimeter and visible light wavelengths.
Lisa is an avid hiker and biker. In 2005, she was one of six staff members who completed the 80-mile mountain bike ride from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. She can also regularly be found at Lowell’s outreach events, talking about her research with our visitors and donors.