Science Team


David is a research scientist at the Yale University’s Center of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics Department. He is the co-discover of Eris, Haumea, Makemake, and other dwarf planets in the outer solar system. David is part of the collaboration, including Dr. Mike Brown and Dr. Chad Trujillo, that discovered the five largest KBOs in the northern hemisphere. Since 2003, Dr. Rabinowitz has been the principal specialist for the QUEST camera originally located on the Palomar 48-inch Oschin Telescope. He led the effort to build and install the camera at Palomar and at La Silla, and to write the telescope automated control software. For the past 6 years he has led projects to survey the solar phase curves and rotation states of the largest KBOs and other icy bodies in the solar system and has been a co-investigator in surveys for nearby bright supernovae and studies of AGN variability.  Contact:


David Rabinowitz (Principal Investigator)

Meg Schwamb

Suzanne Tourtellotte

Meg is a NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University’s Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (YCAA) and Physics Department. She received her B.A in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and moved west to Caltech for her Ph.D in Planetary Science. Working under the supervision of Dr. Mike Brown, Meg searched the Northern Hemisphere for distant Kuiper belt objects and Sedna-like bodies for her thesis before coming to Yale in August 2010. While not observing, she enjoys hanging out with her black cat Stella. Contact:

Suzanne has been the Data Manager for the Yale Department of Astronomy's SMARTS consortium and for its progenitor YALO since its inception in 1998.  She began working with Brad Schaefer that same year on photometry of the Neptunian moon Nereid.  In 2003 she joined David Rabinowitz and Brad and Martha Schaefer in studying the solar phase curves and rotation states of  the largest KBOs and other icy bodies in the solar system.  Presently she assists with the nightly astrometric and photometric follow-up of new KBOs found in this survey.  She has a B.S. degree from MIT, an M.S. from Yale, and a Ph.D. from Princeton. Contact:

Ellie Hadjiyska

Ellie is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Physics Department at Yale University. She was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to the U.S. upon graduating from high school. After studying at Mount Holyoke College, she received her B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara where she built a system of small telescopes and conducted a multi-year survey in a search of optical transients under Prof. Philip Lubin. Her work was focused on detecting SN Ia, variable stars and Tidal Disruption events. In parallel with Ellie's dissertation research, she worked on optimizing NIR detectors for astronomy as a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon Vision Systems. Since September 2010, Ellie has been working with Prof. Charles Baltay and Dr. David Rabinowitz at Yale, studying supernovae, RR Lyrae variables and searching and characterizing exotic transients (La Silla-QUEST Variability Survey). In her free time Ellie enjoys playing tennis, improving her photography skills and attending opera performances. Contact: