Dr. Franck Marchis is a senior planetary astronomer and at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute and Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder at Unistellar. Marchis moved to the United States in October 2000 shortly after getting a Ph.D. from the University of Toulouse in France that he acquired while traveling around the world for his research and for the sake of exploration. Over the past nineteen years, he has dedicated his work to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics (AO). More recently he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He is currently the collaboration manager of the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging and characterizing Jupiter-like exoplanets using an extreme AO system (xAO) designed for the Gemini South telescope.
Marchis is also involved in startups related to science outreach and astronomy, so he joined Unistellar as a Chief Scientific Officer and VR2Planets as a scientific advisor in 2017. Marchis is a member of numerous science committees including, the GPI steering Committee, the TMT Science Definition Team, PLOS One editor board, the Project Blue, the PLANETS Foundation Advisory board, and member of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee since October 2019. He has co-authored more than 380 scientific publications, trained numerous students, and served as a science consultant and interviewee for numerous documentaries and movies in English, French, and Spanish. The asteroid (6639) was named Marchis in honor of his discovery of the first triple-asteroid system in 2007. He has been an affiliated Astronomer at Observatoire de Paris since 2003. Since 2018 Dr. Marchis has also been an associate researcher member of the faculty at Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) where he contributed to the study of main-belt asteroids. Since 2019 Dr. Marchis has also been an adjunct research fellow and Ph.D. advisor at University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
More information at SETI Institute.