Paul A. Dalba, PhD

Astronomer & Citizen Science Advocate



Hello, and welcome to my web page! 

UPDATE: As of August 2023, I will be moving on from my career in astronomy. It has been a privilege and a lifelong dream to spend my time observing the universe and attempting to unravel even a small bit of how we fit into it. For any future correspondence about my previous research, please see my Contact Information

Clear skies,


I was previously a professional astronomer working at the intersection of science, citizen science, and education. I held appointments at the University of California Santa Cruz via a generous fellowship from the Heising-Simons Foundation, the SETI Institute, and Unistellar

My research expertise is in the field of exoplanet science: the study and discovery of planets in other star systems. I use telescopes on the ground and in space to discover these planets, infer their properties, and unravel the story of how they formed and changed over time. By looking outward, to exoplanets, I ultimately try to better understand how our own Earth and Solar System came to be. 

I firmly believe that the wonder about what lies beyond the outer reaches of our Earth is intrinsic to all people. Motivated by this, I have adapted my research programs to deeply integrate with amateur astronomy or citizen science. Through my appointment at the SETI Institute, I work with the digital telescope maker Unistellar to bring exciting and groundbreaking science cases to the Unistellar Network of citizen scientists. I am finding and exploring niches in astrophysics, and specifically exoplanet science, that are particularly complemented by citizen science. At the end of the day, my ultimate aspiration is to build trust in science among the general public by bringing the general public into the scientific process in astronomy.

Before that, I was an Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow of the National Science Foundation. I took this fellowship to the University of California in Riverside and I worked with Prof. Stephen Kane. Through this NSF grant, I was also a Course Instructor of Computer Information Systems at the Riverside City College, having most recently taught CIS 830-832: Introduction to Python Programming in 2020 and 2021.

In July 2018, I defended my PhD in the Department of Astronomy at Boston University. My primary research interests are long-period exoplanet characterization and detection, observational astronomy, and planetary science. Please see my Research page for more information about my current and past projects.

Before graduate school, I worked as a researcher in the Planetary Science Section of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Before that, I attended the University of California at Berkeley, where I received my B. A. in Astrophysics in the Spring of 2012.