Dr. Jess McIver

Image credit: Jess lecturing

Gravitational wave astrophysicist

Dr. Jess McIver is a postdoctoral scholar in experimental physics at the LIGO Laboratory at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

Jess grew up in the Capital Region of New York and graduated from Mohonasen High School in 2005. She earned Bachelor's degrees in physics and journalism from Syracuse University in 2009, where she first began work on exciting gravitational wave research with the LIGO detectors working with Josh Smith and Peter Saulson. Jess graduated with a Master's and a PhD in physics in 2015 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, under the mentorship of Laura Cadonati. She has ten years of experience with gravitational wave data analysis and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on extracting the gravitational wave signals of core-collapse supernova from noisy advanced-era interferometer data.

Jess is currently based at Caltech, and she is one of the leaders of the LIGO Detector Characterization group in the award-winning international LIGO Scientific Collaboration. She was based at the LIGO-Livingston site at the time of the first detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes, GW150914, which earned the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Rai Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish in 2017. She directly contributed to the growing number of exciting gravitational wave discoveries. Along with her colleagues in LIGO and Virgo, she is a laureate of the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2016) and a co-awardee of the 2016 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize, the UK Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award (2017), the Bruno Rossi Prize (2017), and the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (2017).

Jess is passionate about promoting diversity in the STEAM fields. She is a member of the LVC allies, a group devoted to fostering an inclusive environment in the LIGO-Virgo collaboration.

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Email: jlmciver at caltech.edu
Phone: 626.395.8509
Office: 264 West Bridge, Caltech
Mailing address: LIGO Laboratory - California Institute of Technology - MS 100-36 - Pasadena, CA 91125 - USA