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Introducing our new AAVSO staff Astronomer

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stellakafka's picture
Introducing our new AAVSO staff Astronomer


It is a pleasure to announce that Dr Bert Pablo will be joining the AAVSO as the new Staff Astronomer. Bert received his Astronomy PhD from Iowa State University, and then joined the BRITE constellation collaboration at the University of Montreal. His research is on Heartbeat stars. These are stars in binary systems which have highly elliptical orbits; the two stellar components interact gravitationally and induce pulsations on eachother every time they reach their closest encounter. Those light curves are a combination of pulsating stars and eclipsing binaries – two phenomena in one system! Bert also has a wide range of programming and database skills, and will help us curate our various databases and software at HQ. You can find more information about Bert at:


Bert will start his tenure at headquarters in July. I hope that you will have the chance to meet him in person at the 2017 Annual meeting in Nashville, TN (or in a subsequent meeting). Please join me in welcoming our new team member at the AAVSO. We are all looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.


Best wishes – clear skies,


SET's picture



Welome to the AAVSO!! It is great to have another pro-astronomer on the staff.


Chris Stephan  SET


Hello Everyone,  

My name is Bert Pablo and I have the pleasure of being the new astronomer at the AAVSO. As the newest member of this organization I have so much to learn and many good people to teach me. While I am sure that my days will be filled with various tasks, I see my main function as making sure that everyone is able to do their job effectively. There are so many ways that the community contributes to making the AAVSO successful and I want to make sure that this process is as straightforward as possible, not only for those of you contributing now, but for future contributors in the coming months and years.


If you’re a member of the AAVSO I don’t have to tell you how amazing variable stars are. Stars are one of the most stable energy suppliers in existence and yet their tiny fluctuations give us information about how stars change and evolve and are the only way we can determine anything about the interior structure of these majestic objects. Even most of our knowledge about planets comes from their effect on the light coming from their host star. This variability is essential and wonderful and confusing and temperamental and sometimes entirely unexpected. And that is precisely why the AAVSO is so important. Stars don’t have a timer. We don’t know when something strange or unprecedented is going to happen and if we aren’t observing it, we may never know that it did. There are an uncountable number of stars, and no matter how many surveys are started or how many big telescopes are launched into space, those will never replace the work of the AAVSO and our ability to observe stars in the way they deserve.


I am a pretty eclectic person in general. I love learning new things. When I'm bored, I like to pick a hobby and learn enough to be proficient. A few years ago it was juggling, and now I'm an avid juggler. I love playing board games of pretty much any type, but I love cooperative strategy games the best. I like to cook, but I love to bake and bring desserts around work often so that I don't eat them all myself. I used to read a lot, but since becoming a post doc I listen to a lot of audio books, mainly of the fantasy persuasion. They don't replace books, but are a great substitute when you are very active and always multi-tasking. 

I look forward to meeting all of you both on and offline and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to talk to me.


HBB's picture

Welcome aboard Bert!   Glad that you are a part of AAVSO.  Can't wait to meet you in person.



CMJA's picture
Welcome to the Awesome AVSO

Hi Bert,

After reading Stella's intro and your bio, it was great to learn that we have filled this position with you! You'll need your juggling and cooperative strategy skills to help the membership, and in that regard we will be in better hands for sure!


Michael Cook

mgw's picture
Welcome Aboard!


Great having you join AAVSO!  Your background, experience and interests  are a terrific match to oranization and mission.  I look forward to meeting you.

Gordon Myers

BPO's picture

Welcome to to the AAVSO Bert.


percyjoh's picture
New Staff Astronomer

I am so happy to hear that we have a new staff astronomer, and that his pedigree includes Iowa State, with its many connections to variable star astronomy.  And someone who has worked with my colleagues in Montreal!  And with BRITE-Constellation, which I had a small part in "launching".  Congratulations!

John Percy

Mark Blackford
Mark Blackford's picture
Welcome Bert

Congratulations Bert,

good to have you aboard the good ship AAVSO. Cheers,


hambsch's picture
Welcome Bert

Congrats Bert,


great to see this job being filled. Looking forward to meet you in person.



LKR's picture
Welcome Bert!

On behalf of myself and Council, welcome to the AAVSO family! I look forward to meeting you in person.


Kris Larsen (LKR), President

FJQ's picture
Welcome Bert!

Hope your contribution to AASVO continues to increase the professional rigour and data volume that has grown expotentially since 2005!  A few of us are getting into taking spectra of variables so I hope that gets addressed in a data repository here in AASVO....I'm already sending spectra to BAA's highly organized spectra database website:



Jorge1977's picture
Welcome Bert!


Is very great to have you aboard the aavso.

I wish you the best.


ASA's picture
Bert. Congratulations ¡¡¡¡

You are welcome. ¡¡¡

It's a great day for AAVSO.

Salvador (ASA)

David Benn
David Benn's picture

Hello Bert and welcome to AAVSO!

Perhaps we'll interact re: VStar at some point.

I agree with you that audiobooks (and podcasts) are a great way to get content when you're busy, walking, riding, standing on a bus/train etc. With young kids at the time, juggling was a good outcome from a leadership development programme for me more than a decade ago too.


lmk's picture
Benvenuto Pablo!

Hola! It seems CCD observations are swamping Visual observations these days. So, I would hope you can realize the continuing importance of Visual as the core data in the AID, and can design programs and campaigns that get more Visual observers involved and enthusiastic as contributors :)


Mike LMK


rmu's picture

Welcome Bert!

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