Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (2017)
M. Sc., University of California, San Diego (2013)
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011)

Post Doctoral Fellowship

Kalbfleisch Fellow, American Museum of Natural History (2017–2019)
Postdoctoral Researcher, American Museum of Natural History (2019–2022)

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the formation mechanisms of giant planets and brown dwarfs through trends in their population data. Orbital parameters and compositions are fossils of the formation and evolution of a system, and my research program branches off into studying both aspects of a system to reconstruct its history. Brown dwarfs are the lowest mass products of the star formation process, but they are not massive enough for hydrogen fusion, which is the process that powers stars. Brown dwarfs can have masses that are typical of giant exoplanets, so it is difficult to distinguish one from the other. I measure the dynamical masses and orbital parameters of systems that have a brown dwarf or giant planets in order to find trends in the data that can distinguish between the two objects. I also measure the compositions of these objects using their near infrared spectra and a state of the art technique called retrievals. 

I am also interested in measuring multiplicity statistics, and studying weather in brown dwarfs and exoplanets through their light curves.

Teaching Interests

Some of my most memorable learning moments were when my teachers helped me get to an answer rather than just giving it to me. I aim to provide that experience to my students in order to develop their critical reasoning. In my classroom, I create a welcoming environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes because we all come from different backgrounds that gave us unique expertise. This approach generates a respectful atmosphere open to critical discussion and active listening. I am also an advocate of student-centered teaching and using inquiry-based learning activities in my classroom. 

Awards and Honors

Kalbfleisch Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017–2019)

IPAC Visiting Graduate Fellowship (2014)

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Co-founder of CosmoAmautas teacher training program in rural areas of Peru (url:

Selected Publications

A. Ashraf, D. Bardalez Gagliuffi et al., “Binaries or Variables? Disentangling the signatures of blended-light atmospheres,” The Astrophysical Journal (under review, 2022). 

G. Calistro Rivera, D. Bardalez Gagliuffi et al., “The CosmoAmautas project for equitable scientific education in Peru,” Nature Astronomy, in press (2022).

C. Fontanive & D. Bardalez Gagliuffi, “The Census of Exoplanets in Visual Binaries: Population Trends from a Volume-limited Gaia DR2 and literature search,” Frontiers in Astronomy, 8 16 (2021).

D. Bardalez Gagliuffi et al., “14 Her: a likely case of planet-planet scattering,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 922 2 L43 (2021).

D. Bardalez Gagliuffi et al., “WISE J0830+2837: A Missing Link Planetary-Mass Object,” The Astrophysical Journal, 895 145 (2020).

D. Bardalez Gagliuffi et al., “The Ultracool SpeXstroscopic Sample. I. Volume-Limited Spectroscopic Sample and Luminosity Function of M7-L5 Ultracool Dwarfs,” Astrophysical Journal 883 205 (2019).

M. Gillon et al. (inc. D. Bardalez Gagliuffi), “Temperate Earth-sized Planets Transiting a Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star”, Nature 533 7602 (2016).

D. Bardalez Gagliuffi, A. Burgasser, C. Gelino, D. Looper, C. Nicholls, S. Schmidt, K. Cruz, A. West, J. Gizis, S. Metchev, “SpeX Spectroscopy of Unresolved Very Low Mass Binaries. II. Identification of Fifteen Candidate Binaries with Late-M/Early-L and T Dwarf Components”, The Astrophysical Journal 794 143 (2014).

A. Burgasser, D. Bardalez Gagliuffi, J. Gizis, “Hubble Space Telescope Imaging and Spectral Analysis of Brown Dwarf Binaries at the L Dwarf/T Dwarf Transition”, The Astronomical Journal 141 70 (2011).