Matthew Penny

Headshot of Matthew Penny

About Me

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Louisiana State University, with a joint appointment at the LSU Center for Computation & Technology.

I am an observational astronomer working on exoplanet demographics, the study of populations of planets around other stars. I do this by designing and conducting large-scale surveys using the gravitational microlensing and transit techniques. I’m particularly interested in understanding if stars in the various stellar populations of the Milky Way Galaxy form different kinds and numbers of planets.

I lead the MISHAPS transit survey and work on the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope mission (Roman for short), NASA’s next flagship astrophysics mission that is following in the footsteps of Hubble and JWST. I have played a leading role in the K2 Campaign 9 microlensing survey, and the supporting CFHT-K2C9 Multicolor Microlensing survey. I am a member of the KELT search for transiting planets. I also work on designs of microlensing surveys using UKIRT, Rubin and the Euclid space mission.


2019-present, Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University
2017-2019, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Ohio State University
2014-2017, NASA Sagan Fellow, Ohio State University
2012-2014, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ohio State University


2008-2011 PhD Astronomy & Astrophysics, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester
2004-2008 MPhys Physics, University of Manchester

Curriculum Vitae & Publications

Curriculum vitae

Contact Information

Department Website
Mail: 202 Nicholson Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA