Graduate Faculty Research Interests

Five Colleges Graduate Faculty Research Interests

Daniela Calzetti: Star formation and its physical link to the interstellar gas in nearby galaxies. Stellar
populations and their physical properties, in connection to their galactic environment. Ultraviolet to
radio observations from space and ground-based facilities, to measure tracers of star formation, gas,
and dust. The role of dust attenuation in galaxies, and its impact on observables.
 
Kate Follette (Amherst College): Exoplanet direct imaging. Development of techniques to detect and
characterize planets that are still actively forming, to inform the physics of planet formation. Use of
large optical and infrared ground-based telescopes, to image young star systems. Hardware and
software techniques to remove starlight from images and isolate young planets.
 
Mauro Giavalisco: Galaxy formation and evolution. Investigations of high redshift galaxies from deep
imaging and spectroscopic surveys, both from space and the ground, mostly at UV/Optical/Near-IR
wavelengths. Identification of galaxies at the time of their formation, investigations of their evolution to
the present cosmic times, to inform theory. Studies of triggering and quenching of star formation.
 
Robert Gutermuth: Multi-wavelength (X-ray to mm-wave) and multi-scale surveys of young stellar
objects and star-forming regions, from molecular clouds to the entire plane of the Milky Way. Software:
machine learning applications in astrophysics, high volume automated image reduction and analysis,
resolved emission parsing.
 
Mark Heyer: The physics of the cold, dense interstellar medium through observations of molecular lines
and HI 21cm emission in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies with the LMT, JVLA, and ALMA. The role of
MHD turbulence in the evolution of molecular clouds. The assembly history of giant molecular clouds
and their evolution to form stars.
 
Neal Katz: Galaxy formation and evolution, using high performance computer simulations with and
without hydrodynamics. Goal of direct comparison of theory and observations, using simulations to
illuminate the physical processes that govern structure formation, turning on different physical effects
understand their impact, and connecting simulation results to those of simpler approaches.
 
James Lowenthal (Smith College): High-redshift galaxies, starburst galaxies, submillimeter galaxies,
galaxy formation and evolution. Exoplanet transits. Public policy: light pollution, climate change.
 
Houjun Mo: Galaxy formation and evolution. Large-scale structure of the Universe. Theoretical
investigations of structure formation and predictions for observations, to understand the properties of
dark matter halos and the distribution of dark matter in the Universe, as well as to reconstruct the
current and initial density fields for the local Universe.
 
Gopal Narayanan: Millimeter and submm-wave superconducting waveguide receivers, focal plane
arrays, Low Noise Amplifiers, high frequency multipliers for LO systems, analog and digital
spectrometers, Microwave Holography. Star Formation, Protostellar Accretion Disks, Molecular Clouds,
Theoretical Radiative Transfer Models. Supermassive Black Holes and the Event Horizon Telescope.
 
Alexandra Pope: The `dusty side’ of galaxy evolution through infrared and (sub)millimeter observations
from LMT, ALMA, Herschel, Spitzer, VLA and Hubble. Role of dust in the earliest galaxies in the Universe.
Growth of stars and of the supermassive black holes in galaxies. Evolution of the interstellar medium
and the role of environment in galaxy evolution, in dense clusters and protoclusters at high redshift.
 
Pete Schloerb: Large Millimeter Telescope Project Director. Investigations of comets and their physical
properties; measurements of cometary composition using millimeter instrumentation, both from space
(NASA and ESA exploration missions) and the ground. Modeling of heat transfer in planetary and
satellite surfaces. Study of the chemistry and physics of interstellar molecular clouds.
 
Steve Schneider: Studies of dynamics and atomic gas properties of galaxies through 21-cm observations.
Population statistics of galaxies, particularly low-surface-brightness galaxies, through 21-cm surveys.
Studies of effective science education and development of education resources for teachers.
 
Ron Snell: The properties of molecular clouds within the Milky Way. Millimeter and submillimeter
wavelength spectroscopy to probe molecular gas, and derive the mass, density, temperature, spatial
structure, kinematics and chemistry of the gas within molecular clouds. Use of the Large Millimeter
Telescope (LMT) and ALMA.
 
Todd Tripp: Quasar absorption lines, circumgalactic medium, and galactic winds investigations, using
mainly space observatories (e.g., Hubble Space Telescope). Roles of gas inflows (accretion) and outflows
(feedback) in galaxy evolution, and in the accounting of the missing baryons in the Universe.
 
Q. Daniel Wang: Radio to X-ray observations to invesrigate the high-energy astrophysics of stellar
evolution and galactic ecosystems: population and diagnostics of white dwarf, neutron star, black hole
binaries; pulsars and their wind nebulae; galactic disk/halo interaction and outflows, physical processes
around massive black holes and star formation; hot interstellar, circumgalactic, and intracluster media.
 
Martin Weinberg: Long-term dynamical evolution of galaxies: formation of bars, arms, and warps;
indirect detection of dark matter; gravitational kinetic theory and N-body simulations; computational
probability and data-theory comparison; connecting observations to properties and dynamics of nonequilibrium
plasma in the inter- and circum-galactic medium.
 
Kate Whitaker: Formation and evolution of massive galaxies. Observational constraints on galaxy
morphology, star formation rate diagnostics and other physical parameters. Use of large statistical
extragalactic surveys and strong gravitational lensing to study the regulation and quenching of star
formation and spatially resolved stellar populations of galaxies.
 
Grant Wilson: Astrophysics of galaxy clusters, galaxy evolution, and star formation as revealed by novel
observations at millimeter wavelengths. He has both an active instrumentation laboratory and set of
observational programs centered on the TolTEC millimeter wavelength imaging polarimeter.
 
Min Yun: Galaxy evolution, through tracing the gas content and star formation activities over the cosmic
time. Tracers in the infrared and radio wavelengths to detect young stars obscured by the gas and dust
in their birth-clouds. Radio astronomy with a specialization in radio interferometry (VLA, ALMA). Project
Scientist for the Large Millimeter Telescope.