Ellen M. Price

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

I am a sixth year graduate student at Harvard University. I work with Prof. Karin Öberg (CfA) and Prof. Ilse Cleeves (University of Virginia) on modeling protoplanetary disk chemistry and physics. I also work with Prof. Leslie Rogers (University of Chicago) on rocky planet interior structure modeling. I completed my undergraduate work at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, where I worked with Prof. John Johnson and Dr. Leslie Rogers on exoplanet statistics. I have now been awarded my master's degree from Harvard and am actively working towards my PhD. I have presented my work at American Astronmical Society meetings, the Kepler Science Conference II, and the International Astronomical Union's Astrochemistry VII meeting.

Disk modeling

Many existing disk models do not take into account the changing physical conditions of the disk as material accretes towards the star. We seek to develop a self-consistent disk model that couples chemistry and dynamics in an efficient way.

Planet interiors

Ultra-short-period, rocky planets can be pulled into non-spherical shapes by the extreme gravity from their host stars. We seek to model these shapes — and the resulting transit light curves — numerically.


Simple exoplanet transit models can be enhanced by taking into account the finite integration time of observations using Fisher information matrix analysis. Errors on each parameter are amplified in a predictible way, which can aid in estimating optimal exposure times.

Planet Pac-Man

You can find a work-in-progress game about planet formation here. Eventually, this will be part of an outreach effort to teach the public about disks and planet formation.


I have been a mentor to undergraduates through Harvard's WiSTEM program, which connects graduate and undergraduate women in STEM fields for one-on-one mentoring relationships. I am also a graduate peer mentor.

Got questions?

I'm happy to answer questions about my research, my experiences in graduate school, or life as a woman in astrophysics. Just send me an e-mail!

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