About Me

I am Iva Laginja, a Research and Instrument Analyst at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where I work in the Russel B. Makidon Optics Laboratory.
I did my Masters in Astronomy and Instrumentation at Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, the Netherlands, where I did a research project on exomoons in my first year and then I worked on coronagraph optimization for my Master's thesis.
I was born in Croatia and grew up in Austria's capital Vienna. I obtained my high school diploma at the "Theresianische Akademie Wien" and moved on to do two Bachelor's degrees, astronomy and physics at University of Vienna.
Very early on in my life I had developped an interest in technology and science. Following my wish for hands-on experience, I got interested in instrumentation and the field of exoplanet science.

A full PDF version of my CV can be found here.
You can also find me on LinkedIn:

Leiden University published some very nice PR video clips for the astronomy master I'm happy to share:


Master Degree - August 2017

Leiden University

MSc in Astronomy and Instrumentation

Major Thesis: “Laboratory characterization and end-to-end simulations of the Apodizing Phase Plate coronagraph” | Supervisor: Christoph Keller and Michael Wilby
Minor Thesis: “Exo-ringsystem in edge-on planetary system of beta Pictoris” | Supervisor: Matthew Kenworthy

Bachelor Degrees - 2015

University of Vienna

BBSc in Astronomy and Physics

BSc Thesis Astronomy: “Adaptive Optics” | Supervisor: Franz Kerschbaum
BSc Thesis Physics: “Photovoltaic Cell Testing” | Supervisor: Victor Schlosser

Erasmus semester - Spring 2015

University of Strasbourg

Department of Physics and Astronomy

High School - 2011

Theresianische Akademie Wien

Matura mit Ausgezeichnetem Erfolg

Summer Schools, Conferences, Workshops and Talks

September 2016

Leiden Observatory Science Day 2016

Talk: Rings around beta Pictoris b
Leiden, The Netherlands

September 2016

From Rocks to Pebbles Workshop

Student participant
Leiden, The Netherlands

September 2016

ESA Concurrent Engineering Workshop

Discipline: Communication and Data Handling
Redu, Belgium

July 2016

Exoplanets I Conference

Student participant
Davos, Switzerland

July 2016

ReTHINK Conference 2016

Talk: "Discovering Exomoons"
Maigen, Austria

April 2016

2nd Tautenburg School for Advanced Astronomical Observations

“Imaging and Photometry”
TLS Tautenburg, Germany

July 2015

THINK Conference 2015

Talk: “Modern Telescopes - Extremely Large Telescopes”
Küb, Austria

August 2014

Dunlap Institute Summer School

“Introduction to Astronomical Instrumentation”
University of Toronto, Canada

Work Experience

2017 - Current

Space Telescope Science Institute

Research and Instrument Analyst II

2016 - 2017

Amara On Demand

Subtitler and Translator

2016 - 2017

Old Observatory Leiden

Tour guide

2013 - 2014


Internet assessor

My Projects


Russel B. Makidon Lab, Room 133
3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, 21218 Maryland
United States of America

Work phone : +1 667-218-6530

E-mail : ilaginja@stsci.edu