Dr Lalitha Sairam

PERCAT Rep for the School of Physics and Astronomy.

What is your academic background and your current research field?

I joined the Sun, Stars and Exoplanets group in the school of Physics and Astronomy as a postdoc in March 2020. I received my PhD from the University of Hamburg in 2013. Alumni of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics and University of Gottingen. I am a multi-wavelength observational astronomer with extensive experience in both ground and space-based observations. My main research area focuses on stellar activity and its influence on exoplanets and their detection. In Birmingham, I am developing methods to accurately measure radial velocities on double-line binaries to enable discovery of circumbinary planets orbiting these stars.

What is your role as a PERCAT Rep and how can postdocs in your school contact you?

As one of the PERCAT reps for the School of Physics and Astronomy, I aim to promote diversity and inclusivity within the postdoc community in Birmingham. As a coloured woman in science, I feel that I can address challenges faced by underrepresented communities in science.

Please feel free to contact me via sairaml@bham.ac.uk.

What do you feel are the benefits of the PERCAT programme for postdocs and what do you feel have been the benefits to you from being a postdoc rep?

The PERCAT committee is a great resource for postdocs to form new connections and engage with development issues that are needed for further career progression. It is a wonderful platform to learn from peers and also exchange ideas for collective development.

Being involved in PERCAT both as a member and a rep will enable me to develop my leadership abilities and also bring my wealth of knowledge of working in different countries to the group.