Hola! I am Andrea!

I am a Doctor in Astrophysics from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

I finished my PhD in January 2023 with a thesis entitled "The Diversity of sub-Neptune Planets" under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Christoph Mordasini. Since I joined the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern in 2018, my research has tried to explore the link between the atmosphere and interiors of sub-Neptune planets and how to best observe them. I decided to leave Academia and I work now as the Swiss National Conctact Point for European Partnerships at Euresearch.

Originally a mathematician, I received a full scholarship from the European Union for a two-year Astrophysics joint master’s programme under the Erasmus Mundus network called Astromundus. I graduated in September of 2018 with a joint MSc degree from each university I attended: Universität Innsbruck in Austria, University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy and Universität Göttingen in Germany.

I wrote my master's thesis at Universität Göttingen under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ansgar Reiners and Dr. Mahmoud Oshagh. We analyzed the Chromatic Rossiter McLaughlin effect as a way to study the atmosphere of the exoplanet HD 189733b using data from the CARMENES and HARPS spectrographs.

I'm interested in Science Diplomacy and Science Policy. I worked as an intern at the Office of the Director General of the European Southern Observarory (ESO) researching how ESO contributes to Science Diplomacy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am also committed to diversity and equity in STEM areas and as such I am the leader and co-founder of different initiatives around these topics in Colombia and Latin America.

I speak Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese and currently I'm learning French and a German.


Lead author publications:

Chemical diversity of the atmospheres and interiors of sub-Neptunes

The atmospheres of sub-Neptunes are expected to exhibit considerable chemical diversity, beyond what is anticipated for gas-giant exoplanets. In the current study, we construct self-consistent radiative transfer and equilibrium chemistry models to explore this chemical diversity. We use GJ 436 b as a case study to further study joint atmosphere-interior models. We demonstrate that a high-metallicity atmosphere for GJ 436 b is inconsistent with physically plausible interior structures.

Guzmán-Mesa et al 2022

Information content of JWST-NIRSPEC transmission spectra of warm Neptunes

We explore an interesting and novel application of the random forest machine learning technique applied to the atmospheric retrieval of simulated JWST observations for mini-Neptunes. The goal of the study is to evaluate the information content of various JWST instrument modes, highlighting differing sensitivities to various exoplanet atmospheric parameters via unique byproducts of the random forest technique.

Guzmán-Mesa et al 2020

Co-authored publications:

HELIOS-K 2.0 Opacity Calculator and Open-source Opacity database

We need opacities of atoms and molecules in all sort of (exo)planetary atmospheric calculations! But computing opacities is a very difficult task that starts with line lists that have very large number of transitions. It takes an incredible amount of computing time to do so! We do not want to “reinvent the wheel” for this tedious step of transforming line list data into opacities for multiple points in T and P every time, therefore we are creating a publicly available opacity database for the exoplanet community.

Grimm et al 2021
Opacity Database

Chromatic Rossiter-McLaughlin Observations of HD189733b

As part of my master's thesis, we retrieved the broadband transmission spectra of HD189733b using chromatic Rossiter-McLaughlin observations with HARPS and CARMENES spectrographs. .The retrieved spectrum in the visible range shows the signature of a hazy atmosphere, and an indication of the presence of sodium and potassium.

Oshagh et al 2020

Titanium oxide and chemical inhomogeneity in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-189 b

Prinoth, et al., 2022, Nature
Prinoth et al 2022

Activity induced variation in spin-orbit angles as derived from Rossiter–McLaughlin measurements

Oshagh, M., et al. 2018, A&A, 619, A150
Oshagh et al 2018

Research Interests

  • Exoplanet Atmospheres
  • Exoplanet Interiors
  • Radiative Transfer
  • Machine Learning
  • Astronomy Outreach
  • Women and minorities in Science

Outreach & Media

I am an advocate for women and underrepresented groups in science especially in Colombia and Latin America where I come from. I enjoy giving outreach talks both in Spanish and English. Feel free to check some of them and/or contact me.

Women That Build Award: Techfluencer Colombia 2022

I was the winner for Colombia of the Women that Build Award as Techfluencer 2022 because of the promotion of Women and minorities in STEM through my social media.

How ‘Spam’ Helped Women In STEM To Top Colombian Twitter For Days?

Forbes Science highlighted an intiative I led in Social Media for the International Day of Girls and Women in Science 2022 to visibilize the work of women scientists in Latin America.

What Is This Colombian’s Exoplanet Work? It’s Out Of This World!

Forbes Science made a profile about me and my work as part of their #GlobalSouthScience series.

Exoplanets and Gender Equity/Exoplanetas y Equidad de Género

An infographic about my journey to Astronomy.

Falling Walls Female Science Talents

I was selected as one of the 20 women worldwide for the Intensive Track Female Science Talents Programme hosted by Falling Walls Foundation with support of Bayer Foundation.

One Young World Summit

I was awarded the OYW Technovators for social good scholarship for women in STEM to attend the biggest meeting of global young social leaders as a Delegate this 2022 in UK.

CHIA - Colombianas Haciendo Investigacion en Astrociencias

I am the co-founder and co-lead of a initiative to bring together the Colombian female Astronomers and Astrophysicist and highlight their work in STEM. CHIA is the goddess of the moon in Chibcha language spoken by the indigeneous in Colombia.


EEG Logo Unibe Logo PlanetS Logo

University of Bern
Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 (G6)
3012 Bern

email: andrea.guzmanmesa@space.unibe.ch