Adjunct Faculty

Kalas cropped

Paul Kalas

Adjunct Professor of Astronomy

501M Campbell Hall


Specialty areas

Adaptive optics,Adaptive optics and Radio Observations of the giant planets,Astronomy,Circumstellar matter around main sequence and pre-main sequence stars,Exosolar planets,High contrast imaging with adaptive optics and the Hubble Space Telescope,Mid-infrared and sub-millimeter imaging.,Optical and near-infrared coronagraphy,Stellar and planetary dynamics,Trans-Neptunian objects.

Research Interests

Dr. Kalas images planetary systems around other stars using the Hubble Space Telescope, Keck Observatory, and other major astronomical observatories. His research led to the discovery of Fomalhaut b, the first extrasolar planet seen in optical light orbiting another star. Other accomplishments include the discoveries of dusty asteroid and comet belts surrounding a half dozen nearby stars. He is a science team member on several major projects, such as the Gemini Planet Imager, which is the next pioneering step in imaging planetary systems.


Dr. Kalas was born in New York and raised near Detroit, Michigan. He studied Astronomy and Physics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and earned a Ph.D with astronomer David Jewitt at the University of Hawaii. Before coming to Berkeley, he worked as a postdoctoral scientist with Steven Beckwith at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. In 2009 he received the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the most outstanding paper published in the journal Science. Dr. Kalas founded the Spirit of Lyot conference series and developed an innovative astronomy graduate course on science ethics.




The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey


Lead:Paul Kalas, James Graham

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a new science instrument that exploits the latest generation of adaptive optics technology, coronagraphy and detectors. We have successfully commissioned GPI at the Gemini South telescope in Chile and in 2014 we started a three year science program called GPIES (GPI Exoplanet Survey) that will survey 600 stars for the presence of young giant planets.