Professor Merav Opher was born and grew up in Haifa, Israel. Her father was an astrophysicist and her mother a painter. Her American parents moved to Israel in the 60’s. Both taught her to grab “life-by-the horns” and dream – her mom was larger-than-life and her father a renascentist physicist that transited between different physics seamlessly. At the age of 8 she moved with her twin to Brazil. Her twin, Prof. Michal Lipson, is an award winning scientist.
Among her first memories were trips to the radio telescope (picture below) where her father observed. Her earliest passions were art and poetry. She fell in love with physics during her last years during her undergraduate years and relay in her visual intuition jointly with analytic and computational work to make new discoveries.
Professor Opher gained her PhD in astrophysics from University de Sao Paolo. She came to the United States at the age of 29 and is open about the challenges she faced as a foreigner and as a woman in the sciences. Despite these difficulties, Professor Opher has had a decorated career, winning numerous awards including a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a 2008 Faculty Early Career Development Program award. Recently, she became the principal investigator of the SHIELD DRIVE Science Center, a NASA-funded center with more than 40 leading scientists across a dozen institutions.
Professor Merav Opher is a space scientist and an astrophysicist at Boston University. She’s co-parenting with her ex-wife their kid while residing in Massachusetts.