About Me

I am a fourth year astronomy graduate student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Having completed my coursework, I now spend most of my time on research and as a teaching assistant. In collaboration with Michael B. Lund, Josh Pepper, and my research P.I. Keivan G. Stassun, I worked on calculating yield and characterization estimates for exoplanetary recoverabilty using the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Most recently I have been focusing on entering the field of gravitational microlensing. I am actively collaborating with Geoff Bryden, Yossi Shvartzvald, and Sebastiano Calchi Novati at NASA JPL and Caltech/IPAC in order to determine the near-infrared microlensing detetion efficiency and event rate near the Galactic Bulge with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). These calculations can then be used to inform design specifications and field chocies for the upcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). In the long term, my goal is to become a professor/staff scientist, and to educate the public (particularly America's youth and underrepresented minorities) about the importance of STEM fields and the space industry to our country's future success.

Contact Details

Savannah R. Jacklin
Physics and Astronomy Department
Vanderbilt University PMB 401807
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1807 USA
Office 6907B

Website: http://astro.phy.vanderbilt.edu/~jacklisr/


Vanderbilt University

Ph.D in Astrophysics Will Complete in May 2020

I am currently working towards my PhD in Astrophysics at Vanderbilt University via a Visiting Graduate Research Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. My research focus is determining the microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic bulge using UKIRT in preparation for WFIRST.

Fisk University

M.A. in Physics May 2017

I completed my Master's degree in Physics via the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Program. Graduate courses that I have taken include:
- Advanced Dynamics
- Mathematical Methods for Physicists
- Stellar Astrophysics
- Order of Magnitude Astrophysics
- Advanced Electrodynamics
- Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
- Quantum Mechanics
- The Structure and Dynamics of Galaxies
- Structure Formation in the Universe

Villanova University

B.S in Astronomy & Astrophysics; Minor in Physics May 2015

I completed my bachelor of science degree at Villanova University in Astronomy & Astrophysics with a minor in Physics.


IPAC: California Institute of Technology

Visiting Graduate Research Fellow February 2019 - Present

A continuation of my PhD research, my fellowship at IPAC has me focused on determining the UKIRT Microlensing Survey detection efficiency and event rate at the Galactic bulge as a function of field. The results of this research make up the bulk of my PhD thesis.

Vanderbilt University

Graduate Research Assistant July 2015 - Present

My project as a graduate research assistant at Vanderbilt University utilizes the UKIRT telescope to determine the near-infrared microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic bulge. Much of this project has been undertaken at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and IPAC/Caltech. My previous work uses LSST to determine transiting exoplanet detection for a variety of types of exoplanets and host star masses (See Transiting Planets with LSST. III. Detection Rate per Year of Operation).

My additional interests for future studies include gravitational microlensing simulations with WFIRST, extragalactic exoplanet detection, transiting exocomet detection with WFIRST, and gravitational microlensing with WFIRST and LSST.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Graduate Intern June 2017 - September 2018

For the past two summers I have worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory using the UKIRT gravitational microlensing survey to determine the NIR microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic center, with a specific focus on exoplanetary anomaly detection.

Vanderbilt University

Graduate Teaching Assistant August 2017 - May 2018

I taught an undergraduate lab titled "Introdution to Nighttime Astronomy" where I introduce my students to a variety of materials, including basics in stellar, galactic, and hands-on observational astronomy.

Vanderbilt University

National Science Foundation REU Student May 2014 - May 2015

As an NSF REU student, I was worked on the period detection of exoplanets using LSST. My software infrastructure simulates transiting exoplanet lightcurves for LSST and analyzes them for periodicity in order to determine future yields and preliminary characterizations of exoplanetary bodies orbiting 1 solar mass hosts. (See Transiting Planets with LSST. II. Period Detection of Planets Orbiting 1 Solar Mass Hosts).

Villanova University

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant August 2012 - May 2015

I worked as an astronomy lab research assistant for most of my undergraduate career. My responsibilities included answering questions, grading papers, tutoring, and teaching various astronomical concepts to non-astronomy majors at Villanova University.

Villanova University

Observatory Assistant August 2011 - May 2015

Throughout my time at Villanova University I worked as an observatory assistant for the school's 14" public telescope. It was my job to both physically operate the telescope as well as to educate visiting students, professors, and members of the surrounding community on the motions and particulars of the stars and planets.


As a lifelong student of astronomy and the physical sciences, I have had the opportunity to expand upon and develop skills in and pertaining to several areas of research:
-Science Communication
-Exoplanet Detection
-Bash Scripting
-Cluster Computing


Click here to access an updated ADS search of my most recent publications: ADS Search: Savannah R. Jacklin

First Author Papers:

Transiting Planets with LSST. III. Detection Rate per Year of Operation, Jacklin et al. 2017, AJ, 153, 186
Transiting Planets with LSST. II. Period Detection of Planets Orbiting 1 Solar Hosts, Jacklin et al. 2015, AJ, 150, 34

Nth Author Papers:

White Paper: The Scientific Context of WFIRST Microlensing in the 2020s, Yee, J. C., 14 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R. et al. 2019, Science White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal

White Paper: Masses and Distances of Planetary Microlens Systems with High Angular Resolution Imaging, Bhattacharya, A., 17 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R. et al. 2019, Science White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal

KMT-2016-BLG-2052L: Microlensing Binary Composed of M Dwarfs Revealed from a Very Long Timescale Event, Han, C., 27 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R., 2018, ApJ, 865, 1

UKIRT-2017-BLG-001Lb: A Giant Planet Detected Through the Dust, Shvartzvald, Y., Calchi Novati, S., Gaudi, B. S., Bryden, G., Nataf, D. M., Penny, M. T., Beichman, C., Henderson, C. B., Jacklin, Savannah R., Schlafly, E. F., Huston, M. J., 2018, ApJ, 857, 1

White Paper: Exoplanetary Microlensing from the Ground in the 2020s, Yee, J. C., 13 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R. et al. 2018, White paper submitted to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy

OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb: The First Spitzer Bulge Planet Lies Near the Planet/Brown-dwarf Boundary, Ryu, Y.-H., 72 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R., et al. 2018, AJ, 155, 40

OGLE-2017-BLG-0173Lb: Low Mass-Ratio Planet in a "Hollywood" Microlensing Event, Hwang, K.-H., 33 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R., et al. 2017, AJ, 155, 20

OGLE-2016-BLG-0613LABb: A Microlensing Planet in a Binary System, Han, C., 35 authors, Jacklin, Savannah R., et al. 2017, AJ, 154, 223