Lauren Melissa Flor Torres

Astrophysics PhD student at Universidad de Guanajuato

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Nothing in life is easy, however, if you wish it you always could obtain it, only just make up your mind and just do it!.

What do you do?

I am studying host-stars of exoplanets by using observations from the Optical Telescope called TIGRE, located at Guanajuato, Mexico. I used the spectra of those stars to estimate their physical parameters, i.e., temperature, metallicity, surface gravity, rotational velocity, and turbulence. By doing comparison with theoretical models and observations, about exoplanets and their host stars, I could understand better their relationship.

Why did you choose this field?

When I was a little girl, I loved to watch the Moon and asked many questions about it, for example, why the moon sometime was full light and sometimes not?. Then I decide to study a physics bachelor at the Universidad del Valle in my hometown, Cali - Colombia. I remembered that attending a general astronomy course, I had the opportunity to observe the sky by the first time with a telescope, and the first object that I got it, was Saturn. It was really stunning to me at this time, because  I was looking with my own eyes something that I noticed before on the books:  The Saturn’s rings!. It was that moment that changes my scientific perspective and moves on to study the wonders of the universe.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wished that my younger me, have been known that the Universe offers amazing and surprising environments to study, for example, planets, stars, exoplanets, galaxies, and black holes. Also,  there are a lot of women and men around the world working in this field, even Colombians, sharing the passion to study the universe.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I think that STEM opens the mind of many people to understand a lot of important things. In my way, It helps me to prove to myself that any obstacle is impossible for me. The other important point about STEM is the extraordinary people that I knew in this field.

Best advice for next generation?

First, please forgets that science is always for men. Second, nothing in life is easy, however, if you wish it you always could obtain it, only just make up your mind and just do it!.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”
― Hypatia

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