Meet the Fellows

Whether exploring NASA's missions in planetary science or developing a better understanding of human exploration and space operations, Fellows in the NASA Postdoctoral Program are contributing to national priorities in scientific exploration and fundamental research. 

List of current NPP Fellows   List of former NPP Fellows

Where can an NPP Fellowship take you? Read about current Fellows and NPP alumni or hear how how their fellowship experiences are propelling their careers with NASA and beyond.

  • Aaron Yung, Ph.D.

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    Aaron Yung, Ph.D., is a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He's a theorist working on what he calls the "mission of the century," the James Webb Space Telescope team.

  • Alejandro Borlaff, Ph.D.

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    Alejandro Borlaff, Ph.D., recently completed his NASA Postdoctoral Program experience at NASA Ames, and will continue working for NASA on a number of collaborative projects.

  • Erica Barlow, Ph.D.

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    Erica Barlow, Ph.D., is a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow based at Penn State University working at the Laboratory for Agnostic Biosignatures team.

  • Samson Johnson, Ph.D.

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    Samson Johnson, Ph.D., a new NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow who has been in his role for just a few months, is studying exoplanet demographics or how many and where exoplanets are located.

  • Tiffany Lewis, Ph.D.

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    Tiffany Lewis, Ph.D., in her second year as an NPP Fellow, is working at the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory on theoretical modeling of jets ion active galaxies, especially blazars.

  • Rebecca Prescott, Ph.D.

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    Even microorganisms depend on their community to grow, which can help them survive in harsh environments, such as in Hawaiian lava caves or on ancient Mars. That’s among the findings in a study conducted by Rebecca Prescott, Ph.D., a microbial ecologist who studies quorum sensing, which is a complex communication system between microbes that uses chemicals to allow microbial communities to coordinate their activities.

  • Gioia Massa, Ph.D.

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    When Gioia Massa, Ph.D., was 12 years old, she was introduced to space plant production research at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). With the goal of becoming a project member, she pursued every opportunity to work at KSC, as an intern, project councilor, student investigator and postdoctoral fellow. Ultimately, her journey led to the role of NASA project scientist. 

  • Hyunju Connor, Ph.D.

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    As a graduate of a doctoral program in physics, Hyunju Connor, Ph.D., was interested in an opportunity to collaborate with scientists at a world-renowned research laboratory. Now, as a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she finds herself in daily close proximity to a well-known space physics institute.

  • Rika Anderson, Ph.D.

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    Carleton College faculty member Rika Anderson, Ph.D., researches microbial evolution in hydrothermal vents and the early evolution of microbial metabolisms. Anderson shares the skills and research network she developed as a fellow in the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) with her students.