Lalitha Sairam

Exoplanets | Stellar Activity | Circumbinary planets | Star-planet interaction | Multi-wavelength observer

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

About mE

I am an Astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge currently working on the discovery and characterisation of exoplanets. After spending the last two years searching for planets orbiting around single stars at the bottom of the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, I have challenged myself towards searching for planets around binary stars using high-precision radial velocity measurements.  

Currently, I am developing a robust stellar activity based forecast model called STACCATO for optimal and efficient observations of exoplanets. 

I started my career by exploring how a star can decide the fate of an orbiting planet around it and studying stellar flares to understand how their influence on the orbiting world. Most of my work is based on multi-wavelengths monitoring campaigns using both space-based telescopes and ground-based telescopes.

Based on all my experiences, my areas of expertise include exoplanetary science, X-ray astronomy, stellar coronae and magnetic activity. It may be exoplanetary science or X-ray astronomy. I have been looking for a signal in the noise throughout my research career.

I am a continuous learner eager to build on my academic foundations in exoplanetary science. In my free time, I enjoy photography, running and classical dance.

ReseArch Interests

Stellar activity

Stellar activity provides with some interesting puzzles. There are several aspects about a star and stellar activity that I have been researching on such as the energy propagation through different layers of the stellar atmosphere, activity cycles, interaction between stars and orbiting planets, etc.

EXoplanets around stars

The ever-growing field of exoplanet has thrown a lot of surprises with respect to both the planets and the host stars. M dwarfs are cool petite stars which are most common stars found in the solar neighbourhood.   I have been working extensively on M dwarfs with an aim to discover and characterise Earth-like planets in their habitable zone.


Planets orbiting around both the stars in a are called circumbinary planets. Nearly half the stars in our neighbourhood are in binary or multiple system. Making them the most common planet hosting stars/systems. Yet there are only 10-15 circumbinary planets discovered. I am currently, exploring new means to extract the radial velocities from the spectra of these binary stars to increase the detection of the circumbinary planets.

ongoing projects


Coming soon !!!

planets around DOuble-line binary stars

Coming soon !!!

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2023 Research Associate, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2020-2023 Postdoctoral fellow, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2018-2020 Postdoctoral researcher, University of Goettingen, Germany
  • 2015-2018 Inspire Faculty Fellow, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, India
  • 2013-2015 Postdoctoral fellow, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India
  • 2013 –  PhD, Hamburg University, Germany
  • 2008 – MSc, Bangalore University, India


ORCID 0000-0001-8102-3303

Few papers from various research projects I am involved.


Links to interviews on "How we fount planet with two suns"

BBC Sky at Night Magazine; CBC; Science Daily; UoB press release


Although I am a full time astronomer, I am also a part-time photographer

Contact me

Institute of Astronomy, 

University of Cambridge 

United Kingdom