About Me

While not studying, teaching, or doing research, I enjoy reading, traveling, hiking, photography, and observing the night sky with naked eyes or through my small telescope.

Alongside my academic career, I always wanted to share my passion for astronomy with others. I think of astronomy as a gateway to introduce science to people, and show them how beautiful and useful science could be in their everyday lives. That’s why in the fall of 2008, with the help of a team of four friends, we established a global project called “StarPeace“, which aimed to erase borderlines between countries by having neighboring countries hold public observation nights for locals at the same time at two sides of the border. With more than 30 nations as our members, our goal was to promote astronomy and peace amongst nations. The project ended its activities after 6 years in 2014.

The next major step in my outreach activities was co-founding the StarYab astrophysical literature website in Persian. In StarYab we present an interesting paper chosen from the peer-reviewed journals every week in a simple format that is comprehensible to those who are in the beginning of this road. Our main audience are Persian-speaking science undergraduate students, enthusiastic high schoolers, and amateur astronomers who are eager to know more about the state-of-the-art research in astronomy around the globe. Currently, I am also a member of the outreach team of the Association of Women in Science – UC Riverside chapter.

One of the main passions in my life is traveling. I have traveled to many countries in Asia, Europe, and America. My most adventurous trip was an expedition to Antarctica in 2007. It was an educational expedition offered by the Students On Ice organization. The expedition changed my whole perspective towards our planet and made me to have more respect towards our beautiful Earth.

Our ship breaking the Antarctic ocean in “Paradise Bay”. Photo by Irene Shivaei