A Rising Star in Planetary Science Honored by the American Geophysical Union

Sarah Hörst, assistant professor in the department of earth and planetary sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is a recipient of the 2020 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union. Widely considered the highest honor for early-career scientists in the field of geological and planetary sciences, the medal recognizes researchers worldwide annually for their depth and breadth of research, impact, creativity, service, outreach, and diversity.

Dr. Hörst, who arrived at Johns Hopkins in 2014, uses groundbreaking photochemical modeling and laboratory atmosphere simulation experiments to study the formation and composition of planetary atmospheric hazes, with a particular interest in the complex organic chemistry occurring in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

“Over the past six years, everything that I have accomplished has happened with and because of my amazing research group,” Dr. Hörst said. “There is nothing in the world that I am more proud of than my amazing research group. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I wouldn’t have wanted to.”

In addition to her research, Dr. Hörst has mentored a diverse research group of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. She also leads teacher training workshops, gives public lectures, does science communication through social media, and runs bystander intervention training workshops to interrupt gender-based violence.

Dr. Hörst is a graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where she double majored in literature and planetary science. She earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona.

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