Bernstein is a Carnegie Staff Scientist and the Chief Scientist for the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, where she plays a leading role in ensuring that the observatory and its instruments will enable scientists from the project's Founder institutions, including Carnegie, to meet its scientific goals. She accomplishes this by interfacing with the technical and scientific community, as well as by representing the project at scientific conferences around the world.
She is an accomplished optical designer and builder of scientific instruments, having designed and built a high-resolution spectrograph for Carnegie's Magellan telescopes and carried out the optical design for several others. Bernstein received her A.B. in physics from Princeton University and a Ph. D. in astrophysics from Caltech. She was previously a Hubble and Research Fellow at Carnegie, and held professorships at the University of Michigan and at the University of California Santa Cruz.
- Ph.D. in Astrophysics, 1998, California Institute of Technology
- B.S. in Physics, 1992, Princeton University
- Staff Scientist at Carnegie Observatories, 2014-present
- Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at University of California - Santa Cruz, 2007-2014
- Associate Professor of Astrophysics at University of Michigan, 2001-2007