Western Regional Meeting Program

Thematic Talk 3: Dr. Maria R. Drout

Title: Astronomical Alchemy: The Origin of the Elements

As Carl Sagan once said, "We are made of star stuff." However, each element
has its own astronomical origins story. Elements are created everywhere from
the centers of stars, to supernovae explosions, to the Big Bang itself.
Dr. Drout will take us on a journey through the periodic table, highlighting
how our recent discovery of a 'kilonova' associated with the cataclysmic merger
of two neutron stars has filled in one of the final pieces of the elemental
puzzle-the origin of many of the heaviest elements in the universe.

Dr. Maria Drout is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and
Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. She is an observational astronomer
who studies the evolution and death of massive stars and the origin of peculiar
astronomical explosions. She was part of the team that discovered the first
optical counterpart to a gravitational wave source detected by LIGO/Virgo,
shedding light on the origin of heavy elements. Dr. Drout is also committed
to effective science communication, and has co-founded multiple outreach/education
initiatives, including and the Communicating Science Workshop.
She was previously a NASA Hubble Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena.
Dr. Drout received her Ph.D. from Harvard, M.A.St from the University of Cambridge,
B.Sc. from the University of Iowa, and is originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


The 2018 Western Region Meeting is a joint venture between
Southern California ACS Local Section,
California Los Padres ACS Local Section,
Western Region Board, and
American Chemical Society
All the above are 501(c)3 tax exempt organizations.