My name is Bea (Beatriz) Gallardo-Lacourt and I’m a southern hemisphere native. I am originally from Chile, the long and skinny country in South America. I was born and raised in Santiago, the capital of Chile.

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Santiago in Chile, where I obtained a bachelor degree in Applied Physics and Physics Engineering degree, with emphasis in instrumentation. My undergraduate advisor was Dr. Marina Stepanova.


In 2010 I moved to Los Angeles, California, to start my PhD in Space Physics in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA. My advisors were professor Larry Lyons and Dr. Toshi Nishimura. During my thesis I focused on magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, more specifically plasma transport by mesoscale structures at auroral and sub-auroral latitudes. 

After finishing my PhD, I moved to Canada for a  postdoc position at the University of Calgary working in the Auroral Imaging Group leaded by professor Eric Donovan. My work there was focused on STEVE, a new an exciting atmospheric phenomenon first discovered by amateur auroral photographers, members of a  Facebook group: Alberta Aurora Chasers

Currently, I am postdoctoral fellow at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center working with Larry Kepko on applying the optical flow technique to analyze the motion of auroral structures.

In addition to my research work, I am very passionate about volunteer work within the magnetosphere and aeronomy community. Since 2018 I am a member of the AGU Global Engagement committee as one of the North American representative; the goal of this committee is to help advance advance AGU's international objectives. I am also an editor for the newly formed AGU Books editorial board for the topics of magnetosphere and aeronomy.



Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA, 2016

Advisors: Dr. Larry Lyons and Dr. Toshi Nishimura

Morris Neiburger Award (For excellence in teaching) | AOS UCLA, November 2015

M.Sc., Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA, 2012

Advisors: Dr. Larry Lyons and Dr. Toshi Nishimura

B.Sc., Engenieering Physics, University of Santiago, Chile

Advisor: Dr. Marina Stepanova

B.Sc., Applied physics, University of Santiago, Chile, 2008 

Advisor: Dr. Marina Stepanova

Student Award on Ionosphere-Thermosphere (1st place) | CEDAR workshop, July 2014

Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) | AGU-Fall Meeting, December 2014

National Student Tavel Grant | AGU-Fall Meeting, December 2010

Bosart Award (For unselfish service to fellow students and positive contributions to department life while demonstrating a firm commitment to academics) |

AOS UCLA, November 2016

International Student Tavel Grant (Undergraduate) | AGU-Fall Meeting, December 2010

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship  | Universities Space Research Association, 2019

Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing  | Journal of Geophysical Research - AGU, 2019

NASA Group Achievement Award   | STEVE Team, 2019

NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement for Science Award  | STEVE Team, 2019


AGU Global Engagement Committee

North American Representative since 2018

Magnetosphere & Aeronomy Editor since 2020

AGU Books Editorial Board

Equity Task Force Member since 2020

NASA Goddard Heliophysics Division

UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship 2016

To support outstanding PhD candidates within a year of finishing their degree