Dr. Samantha Lawler

Assistant Professor of Astronomy
B.S. Astrophysics (California Institute of Technology), M.A. Astronomy (Wesleyan University), Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Phone: 306.359.1217 | Fax: 306.359.1200 | Office: CM 404



Research Interests

  • Formation and orbital evolution of the Kuiper Belt
  • Exoplanet orbital stability and dynamical interactions with planetesimal disks
  • Artificial satellite visibility and mitigation
  • Planetary habitability

Representative Publications

  • OSSOS. XXII: The Large Populations and Orbital Distributions of the Distant Resonant TNOs
    Crompvoets, Lawler, Volk, Chen, Gladman, Peltier, Alexandersen, Bannister, Gwyn, Kavelaars, & Petit (in review, the Planetary Science Journal, 2021)
  • Visibility Predictions for Near-Future Satellite Megaconstellations
    Lawler, Boley, & Rein (in review, the Astrophysical Journal,2021)
  • Previously thought to be science fiction, a planet in a triple-star system has been discovered
    Lawler (The Conversation 2021) LINK
  • SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are about to ruin stargazing for everyone
    Lawler (The Conversation 2020) LINK
  • OSSOS. XIII: Fossilized Resonant Dropouts Tentatively Confirm Neptune’s Migration was Grainy and Slow
    Lawler, Pike, Kaib, Alexandersen, Bannister, Chen, Gladman, Gwyn, Kavelaars, Petit, & Volk (The Astronomical Journal 2019) LINK
  • OSSOS. X: How to use a Survey Simulator: Statistical Testing of Dynamical Models Against the Real Kuiper Belt
    Lawler, Kavelaars, Alexandersen, Bannister, Gladman, Petit,& Shankman (Frontiers in Astronomy & Space Sciences 2018) LINK

Current Scholarly Projects

  • Ongoing observing project on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to discover new Kuiper Belt Objects that are in the 3:2 Kozai resonance
  • Dynamical modelling of the Plutinos and distant mean-motion resonances in the Kuiper Belt
  • Dynamical modelling and observations of dust belts around distant stars, using facilities such as Gemini and ALMA
  • Observations and modelling of the visibility of megaconstellations of artificial satellites
  • Principal Investigator: NSERC grant “Understanding the Architecture of Planetary Systems”
  • Co-Investigator: NASA ROSES grant “Neptune’s Migration – The Origin and Evolution of the Kozai Plutinos”