EPEC Profiles – Jessica Hogan
In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.
Jessica Hogan is a PhD student in Astrobiology at The Open University, UK.
Just one month away from beginning her first year as a PhD student in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences – we reflect on key experiences in her career to – date.
Jessie graduated with a B.Sc. in Planetary Science with Astronomy from Birkbeck, University of London in 2021. Her interest in Astrobiology influenced a final dissertation on the habitable zone modelling of exoplanets.
Following her studies, she was supported by a Europlanet grant to present this thesis at EPSC 2022 in Granada, alongside other early-career researchers.
The turning point came upon securing an internship in the Operations Development Division with the European Space Agency (ESA) in Madrid, Spain. Here is where she studied the icy surface of Enceladus (one of Saturn’s Moons), by analysing Cassini Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) data and modelling photometric parameters. Investigating this potentially habitable environment can further knowledge of active surface processes that may take place on icy worlds in our Solar System – in preparation for interpreting ESA’s JUICE mission findings.
Inspired by the astrobiological significance of Enceladus and other icy bodies, she is continuing to build on her existing research with her current PhD in this field.
Maintaining a personal interest in improving youth access to education, she has previously volunteered with Unibuddy to support prospective students in adjusting to the challenges that accompany higher education. Jessie was also an Ambassador for Birkbeck, where she hosted pop-up stands in colleges throughout London to share her journey as a woman in STEM.
“EPEC has been key in getting me where I am today – supporting myself and other early-careers in navigating our first conference experience, and facilitating vital collaborations between researchers in different fields. It’s an invaluable network to be a part of. Having gained knowledge and connections with other planetary scientists, my journey with EPEC has come full-circle as I contribute back via the EPEC Communications Working Group, who continue to organise all-important events and outreach activities.”
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