Susan E. Mullally

Archive Scientist

Dr. Susan E. Mullally (nee Thompson) is a senior archive scientist at the Institute working on TESS, Kepler and JWST for the Mikulski Archive. As part of the archive team she helps design and document tools provided by the archive for making the NASA mission data accessible to the broader astronomical community. Dr. Mullally is also working with a team to hunt down false positives in the Kepler and K2 exoplanet catalogs by developing better tools or by collecting more data.

Prior to her employment at STScI, Dr. Mullally was an astronomer in the Kepler Science Office. She designed and documented many of the products archived by the Kepler mission. As part of that team, Dr. Mullally led the creation of the final Kepler catalog of exoplanet candidates in such a way that it can be used to reliably determine the frequency of small planets in our Galaxy. She also developed a machine learning technique to automatically vet signals found from the Kepler spacecraft and worked to understand a new class of tidally-distorted, eccentric binary stars known as heartbeat stars. Earlier in her career she developed tools and organized the data collection efforts of the Whole Earth Telescope, a collaboration of ground-based telescopes that work to measure the pulsations of white dwarf stars.


PhD in Astronomy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MS in Physics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
BA in Physics, Hanover College


Science Interests:

  • Occurrence rates of exoplanets
  • Removing False Alarms from exoplanet catalogs
  • Mode Identification in pulsating white dwarf stars
  • Detection of exoplanet atmospheres


Research Topics: Exoplanets; Binary stars; White dwarf stars


ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7106-4683

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