Dorian AbbotAssociate Professor

Research Focus:
Climate, paleoclimate, ice, habitability, and exoplanets
Hinds 571


I have an undergraduate degree in physics (2004, Harvard) and a PhD in applied math (2008, Harvard). I came to the University of Chicago as a Chamberlin Fellow in 2009 and stayed on as a faculty member in 2011.

Research Interests

I use mathematical and computational models to understand and explain fundamental problems in Earth and Planetary Sciences. I have worked on problems related to climate, paleoclimate,  planetary habitability, and exoplanets, but I'm always excited to think about new things. I work best with students who have strong mathematical skills that they want to apply to cool problems. Recently I've been focusing a lot of effort on terrestrial exoplanets and habitability. We have a really great community with three faculty in our department and three in astronomy working on exoplanets. Here is a list of our recent PhD graduates in the area. Right now I'm particularly interested in planetary dynamics and how it relates to habitability.

Selected Publications

  • Abbot, D.S, R.J. Webber, S. Hadden and J. Weare (2021), Rare Event Sampling Improves Mercury Instability Statistics, Astrophysical Journal​, submitted. arxiv

  • Checlair, J.H., G.L. Villanueva, B.P.C. Hayworth, S.L. Olson, T.D. Komacek, T.D. Robinson, P. Popovic, H. Yang, D.S. Abbot (2021), Probing the capability of future direct imaging missions to spectrally constrain the frequency of Earth-like planets, Astrophysical Journal, 161:150. arxiv

  • Olson, S.L., M. Jansen, and D.S. Abbot (2020), Oceanographic Constraints on Exoplanet Life, ​Astrophysical Journal​, 895:19. arxiv

Statement of Values

I practice fair admissions: I select students and postdocs on the basis of scientific ability and promise, and I do not discriminate against any applicant based on anything else. I encourage freedom of expression and the creative exploration of ideas in my group.

Silly stuff