Scientific Staff and Research Interests

Staff Astronomers

John Mulchaey


Ph.D., 1994, University of Maryland

Interests: Galaxy groups, X-ray astronomy

Andrew Benson

Staff Member

MPhys (physics and astrophysics), 1997, University of Leicester; PhD, 2000, University of Durham

Interests: The formation of cosmic structure, from dark matter to galaxies and AGN.

Rebecca Bernstein

Staff Member/Scientist

B.S. Physics, Princeton (1992);  PhD Astrophysics, Caltech (1998)

Interests: stellar abundances, galaxy formation & evolution, structure formation, instrumentation, optical design
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Guillermo Blanc

Staff Associate

B.S. Astronomy, (2004), M.Sc. Astronomy (2006), Universidad de Chile;  PhD Astronomy, UT Austin (2011)

Interests: Galaxy evolution, star formation, chemical abundances in nebulae, integral field spectroscopy, advocacy for dark skies protection.

Jeff Crane

Associate Director for Technological Affairs

B.S. Physics, 1997, Arizona State University; M.A. Astronomy, 1999, Ph.D. Astronomy, 2004, University of Virginia

Interests: Instrumentation, Milky Way and Local Group, Extrasolar Planets

Alan Dressler

Staff Member Emeritus

B.A. (physics), 1970, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. (astronomy), 1976, University of California, Santa Cruz

Interests: Galaxy evolution, IMACS spectrograph

Leopoldo Infante

LCO Director

Daniel Kelson

Staff Associate

B.S. (astronomy and physics), 1991, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ph.D (astronomy), 1998, University of California, Santa Cruz

Interests: How galaxies formed, grew, and evolved

Juna Kollmeier

Staff Member

B.S. (physics), 2000, California Institute of Technology; Ph.D (astronomy), 2006, The Ohio State University

Interests: Theoretical astrophysics concerning the growth of cosmic structure on all scales
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Nick Konidaris

Staff Member

Barry Madore

Senior Research Associate

B.S. (astronomy and physics) 1969, University of Southern California; M.Sc. (astronomy), 1971, Ph.D. (astronomy), 1974, University of Toronto

Interests: The complexities of deciphering galaxy evolution

Patrick McCarthy

Staff Member

B.S. physics and astronomy 1983, University of Arizona; Ph.D. astronomy, 1988, University of California, Berkeley

Interests: Probing the era of galaxy formation

Andrew McWilliam

Staff Member

B.Sc., 1981, London University; M.A., 1984, Ph.D., 1988, University of Texas - Austin

Interests: Chemical evolution and nucleosynthesis

Drew Newman

Staff Member
Mark Phillips profile photo

Mark Phillips

LCO Director Emeritus

Anthony Piro

Staff Member
Interests: High energy theoretical astrophysics with a focus on supernovae, GWs and EM counterparts, accretion disks, tides, and compact objects

George Preston

Director Emeritus

B.S. (physics), 1952, Yale University; Ph.D. (astronomy), 1959, University of California, Berkeley

Interests: Understanding stellar evolution

Michael Rauch

Staff Member

Diploma (physics), 1988, Gutenberg University, Mainz; Ph.D. (astronomy), 1992, Cambridge University

Interests: Unraveling the cosmic web

Gwen Rudie

Staff Member
Interests: High-redshift galaxies, the circumgalactic medium

Francois Schweizer

Staff Member Emeritus

Lizentiat (astronomy), 1968, University of Bern; M.A., 1970, Ph.D. (astronomy), 1975, University of California, Berkeley

Interests: How galaxies assemble and evolve

Stephen Shectman

Staff Member

B.S. (physics), 1969, Yale University; Ph.D. (astronomy), 1973, California Institute of Technology

Interests: Galaxies, low-metal stars, and astronomical tools

Josh Simon

Staff Member

B.S. (physics), 1998, Stanford University; M.A. (astrophysics), 2000, Ph.D. (astrophysics), 2005, University of California, Berkeley

Interests: Dark Matter, chemical evolution, supernovae, and nearby galaxies

Ian Thompson

Staff Member

B.Sc. (physics and astronomy), 1971, M.Sc. (physics and astronomy), 1974, University of British Columbia; Ph.D. (physics and astronomy), 1980, University of Western Ontario

Interests: Globular clusters, instrumentation

Research Staff

Me, gazing avidly at the 2017 Solar Eclipse, using protective glasses of course.

Chris Burns

Research Associate

BSc. Physics, Bishop's University (1994);  MSc. Physics, (1995), PhD Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto (2002)

Interests: Cosmology, Distance scale, Supernovae, Numerical analysis, Bayesian Statistics

Shannon Patel

Research Associate
Interests: galaxy evolution, groups and clusters, large-scale structure

Solange Ramirez

SDSS-V Project Manager

B.S. (physics) U. de Chile, 1991; M. S. (astronomy) U. de Chile, 1994; Ph. D. (astronomy and astrophysics) The Ohio State University, 2000; M. S. (systems engineering) University of California, Los Angeles, 2017.

Interests: Star Formation, Galactic Center, Systems Approach to Development, Management of Complexity.

Stefanie Wachter

SDSS-V Systems Engineer

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

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Louis Abramson

Carnegie-Princeton Fellow

PhD, Astronomy & Astrophysics --- The University of Chicago, 2015
AB, Physics --- Columbia University, 2009
• I was a postdoc at UCLA from 2015 to 2018.

Interests: Galaxy evolution (and its epistemology).

Eduardo Banados

Carnegie-Princeton Fellow

B.S. (astronomy), 2010, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Ph.D (astronomy), 2015, Heidelberg University/Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA)

Interests: Observational cosmology, multiwavelength view of high-z quasars/galaxies, epoch of reionization, big data

Thomas Connor

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Interests: Clusters of Galaxies: galaxy populations, the role of AGN feedback, and the role of clusters in large scale structure

Thomas Cooper

Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Philip Cowperthwaite

Hubble Fellow

Xiaolong Du

Postdoctoral Research Associate

K. Decker French

Hubble Fellow
Interests: Galaxy Evolution, Tidal Disruption Events
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Tom Holoien

Carnegie Fellow

Alexander Ji

Hubble Fellow
Interests: First stars and galaxies, origin of the elements
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Alicia Lanz

Carnegie Fellow

Rosalie McGurk

Carnegie Fellow in Instrumentation

Allison Strom

Carnegie Fellow

Johanna Teske

Hubble Fellow
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Syed Uddin

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Gregory Walth

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Huan Yang


Social Media and Outreach

Cynthia Hunt

Social Media Strategist
  • 2004 PhD, Materials Science, Caltech
  • 1998 AB (Honors), Physics, University of Chicago

Jeff Rich

Outreach Coordinator
Interests: Galaxy Evolution, Interstellar Medium, Stellar Populations

LCO Support Astronomer

Yuri Beletsky

Instrument Support Scientist
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Konstantina Boutsia

Magellan Instrumentation Scientist

Ph.D. in Astronomy, University of Rome "La Sapienza" (2008)

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Francesco Di Mille

LCO Technical Operations Manager

Ph.D Astronomy, 2007, University of Padova


Nidia Morrell

Resident Astronomer

Ph.D. in Astronomy, Universidad de La Plata, Argentina (1984)

David Osip

Dave Osip

LCO Associate Director

B.S. (Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences), 1989, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D (Astronomy), 1995, University of Florida


Povilas Palunas

LCO Scientific Support

Ph.D. (physics and astronomy), 1996, Rutgers University