Kevin B. Stevenson

In May of 2012, Kevin B. Stevenson graduated with his PhD in physics (planetary sciences track) from the University of Central Florida.  He worked under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Harrington as a member of the Planetary Sciences Group.

Kevin specialized in time-series photometry and numerical methods. He analyzed dozens of transiting-exoplanet datasets, mostly involving challenging, low signal-to-noise secondary-eclipse observations using instruments aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope.  In addition to characterizing exoplanetary atmospheres, Kevin developed and advanced numerous techniques to enhance photometric precision and expedite light-curve modeling.

In his final year, Kevin was awarded the Order of Pegasus, the most prestigious and significant student award that can be attained at UCF.  Students are selected based on academic achievement, professional or community service, leadership, and publication or research experiences.

Kevin is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago.  His new website contains details on his current research and up-to-date contact information.



Neptune-Sized Extrasolar Planets

Part of his research focused on a hot Neptune called GJ 436b.  This is the smallest exoplanet whose direct light has been measured so far.  Kevin is the lead-author of a Nature paper (released 22 April 2010) in which a surprising atmospheric composition is revealed. For more details click here.


Earth-Sized Extrasolar Planets

As detailed in a paper release 19 July 2012 by The Astrophysical Journal, Kevin led the discovery of two sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates, designated UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02.  For more information click here.  To take a virtual trip from Earth to UCF-1.01, watch this video.

List of Publications






List of Presentations & Posters






LinksCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

GJ 436b - Where's the methane?

  1.   Further details 
  2.   Article in Nature
  3.   UCF press release
  4.   Spitzer press release
  5.   MIT news release
  6.   Story from
  7.   Simulation of GJ 436b's orbit
  8.   Basic Data of GJ 436b



Research Focus:  Extrasolar Planets / Data Analysis

Email: kevin218 at

Office: PS 353