Scientific Staff and Research Interests

Staff Astronomers

John Mulchaey

Division Director

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
Profile picture for Guillermo Blanc

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

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

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, 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 Lead Systems Engineer

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

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Louis Abramson

Carnegie- Princeton Postdoctoral 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).

Lauren Anderson

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Milky Way science, computational data analysis methods

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

Thomas Cooper

Postdoctoral Fellow

B.A. (physics), Cornell University 2012, PhD (physics/astronomy), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018

Interests: galaxy evolution, high redshift galaxies, circumgalactic medium
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Philip Cowperthwaite

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiaolong Du

Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrew Emerick

Carnegie-CalTech Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Galaxy evolution, stellar feedback, metal enrichment, hydrodynamics

Ivanna Escala

Carnegie-Princeton Fellow
  • Ph.D., Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology (2020)
  • B.S., Physics with Specialization in Astrophysics, University of California, San Diego (2015)
Interests: Galaxy formation, stellar spectroscopy, stellar chemical abundances, galactic archaeology, Local Group, M31

Ylva Goetberg

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

Alexander Ji

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

Postdoctoral Fellow
Ting Li

Ting Li

Hubble & Carnegie-Princeton Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Dark Matter, Milky Way Halo Formation, Dwarf Galaxies, Stellar Streams, Photometric and Spectroscopic Survey, Optical Instrumentation

Rosalie McGurk

Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Bachelors of Science in Astronomy and in Physics, Minor in Math, 2009, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
  • Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2015, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California.
Interests: Building instruments, merging galaxies, active black holes, outflows, adaptive optics

Lina Necib

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Abigail Polin

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

Peter Senchyna

Carnegie 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

Postdoctoral Fellow

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
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Syed Uddin

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gregory Walth

Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Formation and evolution of high-redshift dusty galaxies.

Huan Yang

Visiting Investigator

Fakhri Zahedy

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow
Interests: Galaxy Evolution

Social Media and Outreach

Natasha Metzler

Interim Manager of Strategic Communications

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