Sarah Rugheimer Macgregor

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Sarah Rugheimer Macgregor

Glasstone Research Fellow

I am a Glasstone Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford University and a Hugh Price Fellow at Jesus College. My research interests are modeling the atmosphere and climate of extrasolar planets with a particular focus on atmospheric biosignatures in Earth-like planets as well as modeling early Earth conditions.

Please see my personal website for more details:

Teaching is a particular passion of mine, and I've designed and taught several courses on astrobiology at Tufts University and the University of St. Andrews.

At Harvard, I took two courses in teaching methodology: Scientists Teaching Science by Phil Sadler, and Problems with the Blackboard: Tools for Teaching Science & Math by John Girash. The course Scientists Teaching Science has been my single biggest influence on understanding how students learn. I highly recommend watching Phil Sadler’s two famous teaching videos “Minds of Our Own” and “A Private Universe” where he demonstrates the power of misconceptions in impeding learning. I became aware of this myself as I conducted interviews of students to find out what ideas they currently have of how the Universe works. First, a teacher must know what misconceptions their students have, and then have them work through why those misconceptions are inadequate to explain the physical Universe before they are willing to take in new paradigms.

For more on my teaching, past courses taught, and my teaching evaluations, please see my personal webpage:

Broadly, I am interested in anything related to the field of Astrobiology: the study of origin of life on Earth and the pursuit of detecting life on other planets/moons in the Universe. Currently we are just now finding planets that are Earth-sized and temperate for the first time in history. In the next two decades, first with James Webb Space Telescope and large ground based observatories and later with follow-up missions like the proposed HDST/LUVOIR, we will be able to detect the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets in the habitable zone (HZ). These questions of our origins and the distribution of life in the Universe are the main driving inspiration for my day to day work.

See more at my personal research webpage:

I am the co-host with Dr. Sarah Ballard of a podcast called “Self-care with Drs. Sarah” where we discuss the importance of prioritizing caring for yourself so that you can bring your full engagement and be the most effective person you can be. Subscribe on iTunes or listen on Sound Cloud.

I run a dedicated page to highlighting and helping women in STEM fields:

For more on my podcast and outreach efforts, please visit my personal website:

Or for public lectures and my workshops please see: