Natalie Hinkel | Planetary Astrophysicist at Southwest Research Institute

Dr. Natalie Hinkel is planetary astrophysicist at the Southwest Research Institute. She studies the composition, or abundance of elements and molecules, of nearby stars and how that may affect the make-up of orbiting planets. She is the architect and curator of the Hypatia Catalog, the largest multidimensional database of element abundances for stars near to the Sun (within 150pc or 500ly) which currently contains 72 elements within +6100 stars ( She uses the data within the Hypatia Catalog to understand the mineralogy of exoplanets, or planets outside of our Solar System, and look for broad-scale, chemical patterns within the galaxy. Natalie got a bachelors of physics at Oberlin College and her doctorate at Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration. She is also a science communicator, appearing on panels at a variety of comic conventions and speaking at TEDxNashville (2017) and TEDxSanAntonio (2018).