Houjun Mo

Chief Undergraduate Advisor (CUA)


PhD, Munich University, 1991

Research Interests: 

My research has been focused on galaxy formation, large-scale structure of the universe, and cosmology. I construct models for the formation of galaxies, the formation and structure of dark matter halos, the connection between galaxies and dark matter halos, the structure of gaseous halos, and physical processes related to galaxy formation and evolution. I use galaxies and galaxy systems from observations and from simulations 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. I have coauthored a textbook on `Galaxy formation and evolution' which was published by Cambridge University Press. 

Recent Research:  

  1. Reconstruction of cosmic density field and initial conditions 

  1. Formation and structure of dark matter halos 

  1. The link between galaxies and dark matter halos 

  1. Galaxy groups/clusters and the cosmic web 

  1. Simulations of galaxy formation and large-scale structure 

  1. Gas in galaxies and halos using HI, submm, SZ and X-ray observations  

  1. Galaxy evolution using large surveys of galaxies (SDSS, MaNGA, PFS etc)      




University of Massachusetts Department of Astronomy LGRT 536 710 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01003-9305

Phone Number: 




Teaching Statement: 

GenED courses: The goals here are to get students interested in the subject, to teach them how science works, and to motivate them to have their own explorations of the subject. High-level undergraduate courses: For these classes I believe that the students should understand and grasp firmly the core concepts and principles of the subject matter, and should learn how to approach problems and how to construct mathematical models based on the basic principles they have learned. Graduate courses: I firmly believe that the students should not only grasp the core concepts and principles, but also learn how to apply them to real astronomical problems.