Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Olivia Harper Wilkins


Olivia Harper Wilkins's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.1789
Org Code: 691
Mail Code 691
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Olivia Harper Wilkins (she/her) is an astrochemist and artist currently working as a NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellow in the Astrochemistry Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At Goddard, she works on the Sublimation Laboratory Ice Millimeter/submillimeter Experiment (SubLIME) to study the chemistry of UV-irradiated ice analogues. Before coming to NASA as an NPP Fellow, Dr. Wilkins earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech, where she did observational astrochemistry related to the Orion Kleinmann-Low (Orion KL) nebula using high-angular-resolution mapping of methanol using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Dr. Wilkins also wrote and illustrated Astrochemistry, which was published in 2021, for the American Chemical Society (ACS) In Focus series.

Research Interests

Current Projects

Sublimation Laboratory Ice Millimeter/submillimeter Experiment (SubLIME)



Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2021, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125

B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) in Chemistry (with Honors) and Mathematics, 2015, Dickinson College, Carlisle PA 17013

Professional Societies

American Astronomical Society


2020 - Present

American Chemical Society


2013 - Present

Royal Society of Chemistry

Associate Member (AMRSC)

2023 - Present

Royal Astronomical Society

Fellow (FRAS)

2019 - Present


2022, AGU/SciAct Afilliate Program

2022, CAS Future Leaders Program

2022, NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship

2020-2021, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Student Observing Support (SOS) Award

2016-2021, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

2019-2021, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholarship

2018-2019, Kanel Foundation Scholarship

2015-2016, Fulbright Research Fellowship to Germany



2023. "Gas-phase Ortho-to-para Ratio of Formaldehyde Formed at Low Temperatures in Laboratory Ices." The Astrophysical Journal Letters 958 (2): L41 [10.3847/2041-8213/ad0bee] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "New Interstellar Laboratories in the Molecular Ring." Faraday Discussions [10.1039/d3fd00003f] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Mapping Physical Parameters in Orion KL at High Spatial Resolution." The Astrophysical Journal 924 (1): 4 [10.3847/1538-4357/ac3132] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Astrochemistry." ACS In Focus [10.1021/acsinfocus.7e5004] [Book]

2018. "Rotational spectroscopy of the two conformers of 3-methylbutyronitrile (C4H9CN) between 2 and 400 GHz." Astronomy & Astrophysics 615 A140 [10.1051/0004-6361/201832994] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Laboratory spectroscopic study and astronomical detection of vibrationally excitedn-propyl cyanide." Astronomy & Astrophysics 595 A87 [10.1051/0004-6361/201629309] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Carbon Chains and Methanol Toward Embedded Protostars." The Astrophysical Journal 819 (2): 140 [10.3847/0004-637x/819/2/140] [Journal Article/Letter]