Wanda L. Diaz Merced

Wanda L. Diaz Merced

Wanda L. Diaz Merced

Astronomer
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Wanda Diaz-Merced of Gurabo, Puerto Rico, holds a multidisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She has researched the use of sound as a perceptual tool, while analyzing diversity of astrophysics data sets. As a blind physicist, Diaz-Merced conducted research on using multimodal perception and behavioral psychology to investigate how attention mechanisms and coping strategies influence the analysis of ambiguous astrophysics data.  Her current emphasis is on attention modulation, the prevention of cognitive overload and automaticity when analyzing space physics data.  Her techniques brought forth evidence of events that otherwise had been ignored. Diaz-Merced is co-chair of the National Society of Black Physicists Multimodal Accessible project, the American Astronomical Society Working Group on Disability and Accessibility, and coordinates the global project Astrosense, which educates traditional and disabled learners to do research in astronomy. She holds a post-doctoral position at the Office of Astronomy for Development in South Africa.