Dax L. Feliz

Growing up in Spanish Harlem, the beauty of the night's sky was often robbed from my gaze due to New York City's light pollution. That did not inhibit me from questioning what lies beyond the steel and glass towers and the artificially lit clouds above. One of the first celestial objects that captivated me was the Moon and has since been a source of my inspiration. As a child, I asked numerous questions that were sparked by my interest in astronomy.

The adults in my life, while uneducated in astronomy and physics, highly encouraged me to pursue my passion outside of the classroom. I was consumed by thoughts of astronomy but faced with the reality of my limited resources. I was inspired to look for answers in my local libraries, educational programs on television as well as frequenting the American Museum of Natural History. In spite of my lack of exposure to physics and math in my early education, I was able to develop a deeper understanding of basic astronomy on my own.

While my rudimentary understanding of astronomy grew, my questions became more precise; “Where did the Moon come from? Where did the planets in our solar system come from?”, “Are there other planets out there?” or “What kind of planets can host life similar to Earth?”. These are the questions that continue to fuel my passion for astronomy. I am currently a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University as a fellow in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program.

Some more details on my recent work can be found on my Research page.

Recently, my collaborators and I have become involved in the development of a light curve extraction and transit searching pipeline using data from the TESS mission in order to find exoplanets that orbit cool, red stars.

Site last updated: April 2021