Aurland grew up in Boston, Stuttgart, and Tacoma and obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wellesley College. At Wellesley she conducted research on the formation mechanisms of prebiotic species in interstellar ices, simulating these reactions via ultra-high vacuum experiments. Beyond astrochemistry, Aurland synthesized biopolymers and researched seawater property correlations at MIT, and investigated a catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction at Caltech. Additionally, she studied a class of topological semimetals defined by square-net structures at Princeton.
Aurland joined the Seshadri group in the Materials Department at UC Santa Barbara in 2020 to continue her work with quantum materials. As a Quantum Foundry Fellow, she studies topological superconductor candidates for potential application in quantum computing. The goal of her research is to develop a data-driven tool for identifying novel topological superconductors by integrating machine learning with experimental and computational data.