Scientific Staff and Research Interests

Staff Astronomers

John Mulchaey

Division Director/ Science Deputy

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

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.

Ana Bonaca

Staff Member

MSc (physics), 2010, University of Zagreb; PhD (astronomy), 2016, Yale University

Interests: Constraints on the nature of dark matter and galaxy formation processes from detailed observations of the Milky Way and the Local Universe

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
Interests: Instrumentation, Extrasolar Planets, and the Spectroscopy of bright or faint objects.

Barry Madore

Retiree Prior Afw

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

Andrew McWilliam

Staff Member

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

Interests: Chemical evolution and nucleosynthesis; detecting atmospheres of earth-sized exoplanets

Drew Newman

Staff Member

Gus Oemler

Director Emeritus

A.B., 1969, Princeton University; M.S. and Ph.D., 1974, California Institute of Technology

Interests: Data reduction, evolution of galaxies in clusters

Eric Persson

Staff Member Emeritus

B.Sc. (physics), 1966, McGill University; Ph.D. (astronomy), 1972, California Institute of Technology

Interests: Exploring the universe with infrared detectors
Mark Phillips profile photo

Mark Phillips

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, metal-poor stars, supernovae, nearby galaxies, and exoplanets.

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 Lead Systems Engineer

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

Rachael Beaton

Carnegie-Princeton Postdoctoral Fellow

Pavaman Bilgi

Postdoctoral Fellow

B.S. (Aerospace Engineering) 2010, Monash University; M.Sc. (Aeronautics), 2012, Ph.D. (Aeronautics), 2019, California Institute of Technology

Interests: Astronomy instrumentation; CCD characterization

Nima Chartab Soltani

Extragalactic Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Galaxy formation and evolution, Large-scale structure of the universe

Xiaolong Du

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ylva Goetberg

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Stellar evolution and spectral modeling, effects of binary interactions on surroundings nearby and at high redshift

Michael Grudic

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Star formation, MHD, feedback, interstellar medium, galaxies, star clusters, numerical methods

Erika Holmbeck

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow
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Tom Holoien

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., Astronomy --- The Ohio State University, 2017
B.S., Astrophysics --- Rutgers University, 2013

Interests: Transients (tidal disruption events, supernovae), sky surveys

Fangzhou Jiang

Carnegie-Caltech Postdoctoral Fellow

Kyle Kremer

Caltech-Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow
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Alicia Lanz

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Astronomical instrumentation; high-redshift galaxies; epoch of reionization

Henrique Marques Reggiani

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Allison Matthews

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Ethan Nadler

CTAC Postdoctoral Fellow

Abigail Polin

Carnegie-Caltech Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 2020
  • B.S., Physics, New York University, 2013
Interests: Astrophysical Transients, Computational Fluid Dynamics

Matthias Raives

CTAC Postdoctoral Fellow

Peter Senchyna

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Arizona, 2020
  • B.S. Physics and Astronomy, University of Washington, 2015
Interests: metal-poor massive stars, young stellar populations, dwarf galaxies, high-redshift galaxies

Allison Strom


Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2017
MPhil, University of Cambridge, 2011
B.S., University of Arizona, 2010

Interests: galaxy formation and evolution, high-redshift galaxies, massive stars

Shengqi Yang

CTAC Postdoctoral Fellow

Sept. 2016-May 2021: Ph.D. in Physics at the New York University, New York, NY, USA
Sept. 2012–June 2016: B.S. in Physics at Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Interests: intensity mapping surveys, galaxy formation semi-analytic models, ISM analytic models, test gravity.

Huan Yang

Visiting Investigator

Fakhri Zahedy

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2019
M.S., The University of Chicago, 2015
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013

Interests: Galaxy Evolution, Circumgalactic Medium

Social Media and Outreach

Natasha Metzler

Associate Director, Digital Media and Content Strategy

Jeff Rich

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

Kit Whitten

Library Assistant/Archivist

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 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

Telescope Scientist

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