Faculty by Research Area

Among the diverse talent we’ve assembled across campus are those who use observation, instrumentation, theory, modeling, big data, and experimentation to explore the fundamental properties of and the processes shaping our universe. We welcome researchers not only from astronomy and physics, but also from earth science, space science, statistics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, biology, and related disciplines. From this growing pool, we can assemble interdisciplinary teams with expertise tailored to specific topics of interest.

Please expand the sections below to see the MIRA-affiliated faculty in each research area.

Astrophysical Plasmas

R Paul Drake | AOSS | Radiative shocks, hydrodynamics, magnetized flows
Raluca Ilie | AOSS | General acceleration mechanisms for astrophysical plasmas
Xianzhe Jia | AOSS | Plasma interactions
Paul Keiter | AOSS | Plasma physics
Karl Krushelnick | PHYS | Ultra-high intensity laser plasma interactions
Michael Liemohn | AOSS | Planetary space plasma physics
Mark Moldwin | AOSS | Magnetospheric, ionospheric & heliospheric plasma physics
Sally Oey | ASTRO | Ionized interstellar and circumgalactic medium, photoionization
Mateusz Ruszkowski | ASTRO | Magnetohydrodynamics simulations
Bart van der Holst | AOSS | Code development for space & laboratory plasmas

Big Surveys

Eric Bell | ASTRO | Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Pan-STARRS-1
Gus Evrard | PHYS | Dark Energy Survey, Sloan Digital Sky Survey
David Gerdes | PHYS | Dark Energy Survey, Dark energy spectroscopic instrument
Timothy McKay | PHYS | Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Chris Miller | ASTRO | Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Dark Energy Survey, large synoptic survey telescope
Gregory Tarle | PHYS | Dark Energy Survey, dark energy spectroscopic instrument

Black Holes & Compact Objects

Hugh Aller | ASTRO | Radio emission from AGNs
Margo Aller | ASTRO | Radio emission from AGNs
Elena Gallo | ASTRO | Black holes in galaxy centers
Kayhan Gulteki | ASTRO | Black holes in galaxy centers
Jon Miller | ASTRO | Fundamental black hole properties
Mark Reynolds | ASTRO | Black hole accretion
Douglas Richstone | ASTRO | Black holes in galaxy centers
Mateusz Ruszkowski | ASTRO| Feedback from AGN
Keith Riles | PHYS | Gravitational waves
Monica Valluri | ASTRO | Black holes in galaxy centers
Bart van der Holst | AOSS | Astrophysical jets

Cosmology

Gus Evrard | PHYS | Computational cosmology, cyberinfrasturcture
Katherine Freese | PHYS | Theoretical cosmology
David Gerdes | PHYS | Observational cosmology, dark energy, large-scale structure
Oleg Gnedin | ASTRO | First Stars and galaxies
Dragan Huterer | PHYS | Dark energy, CMB, large-scale structure
Gordon Kane | PHYS | Dark matter and dark energy of the universe
Wolfgang Lorenzon | PHYS | Dark energy, dark matter
Timothy McKay | PHYS | Observational astrophysics and cosmology
Jeff McMahon | PHYS | Cosmology and fundamental physics
Chris Miller | ASTRO | Large-scale structure and cosmology (optical, x-ray, CMB)
Elena Rasia | PHYS | Galaxy cluster simulation (x-ray and gravitational lensing)
Mateusz Ruszkowski | ASTRO | Black holes, galaxy clusters, cosmic rays
Michael Schubnell | PHYS | Cosmic rays, dark energy and dark matter
Gregory Tarle | PHYS | Dark energy, dark matter, acceleration, sources of cosmic rays
Kathryn Zurek | PHYS | Interface of particle physics with cosmology

Dark Matter & Energy

Fred Adams | PHYS | Galactic halos of dark matter
Gus Evrard | PHYS | Computational cosmology, cyberinfrastructure
Katherine Freese | PHYS | Astroparticle theory
David Gerdes | PHYS | Observational cosmology, dark energy, large-scale structure
Dragan Huterer | PHYS | Nature and properties of dark energy
Gordon Kane | PHYS | Dark matter and dark energy of the universe
Wolfgang Lorenzon | PHYS | Dark energy, dark matter
Mario Mateo | ASTRO | Stars and motion of objects in nearby galaxies to assess the distribution of mass
Timothy McKay | PHYS | Observational astrophysics and cosmology
Shawn McKee | PHYS | Experimental dark matter searches
Chris Miller | ASTRO | Large-scale structure and cosmology (optical, x-ray, CMB)
Aaron Pierce | PHYS | Extensions of the standard model of particle physics
Michael Schubnell | PHYS | Cosmic rays, dark energy and dark matter
Keren Sharon | ASTRO | Gravitational lensing measurement of dark matter in galaxy clusters
Gregory Tarle | PHYS | Dark energy, dark matter, acceleration and sources of cosmic rays
Monica Valluri | ASTRO | Structure and dynamics of dark matter halos
Kathryn Zurek | PHYS | Astrophysical searches for dark matter (DM)

Galaxies & Galaxy Clusters

Joel Bregman | ASTRO | Missing baryons
Eric Bell | ASTRO | Galaxy evolution with surveys
Gus Evrard | PHYS | Galaxy cluster simulations
David Gerdes | PHYS |  Dark energy, cosmology with clusters
Oleg Gnedin | ASTRO | Galaxy formation and evolution
Dragan Huterer | PHYS | Gravitational lensing
Sarah Loebman | ASTRO | Galaxy formation simulations
Michael J Longo | PHYS | Galaxy spin vectors
Timothy McKay | PHYS | Gravitational lensing and cosmology
Mario Mateo | ASTRO | Dwarf galaxies and dark matter
Chris Miller | ASTRO | Galaxy evolution and cosmology
Sally Oey | ASTRO | Massive star feedback, starbursts, galaxy evolution
Elena Rasia | PHYS | Galaxy cluster simulation (x-ray and gravitational lensing)
Douglas Richstone | ASTRO | Galaxy dynamics
Mateusz Ruszkowski | ASTRO | Galaxy cluster astrophysics
Keren Sharon | ASTRO | Gravitational lensing, dark matter distribution, high redshift galaxies and cosmology
Monica Valluri | ASTRO | Galaxy dynamics

Instrumentation, Experimental Astro & Supporting Techniques

Carl Akerlof | PHYS | Fast optical transients
Udo Becker | EES | Surface geochemistry and computational mineralogy
R Paul Drake | AOSS | X-ray measurements and laser-based experiments
Richard Frazin | AOSS | Solar corona observations, exoplanet imaging
David Gerdes | PHYS | Machine learning, opto-mechanical alignment systems
Raluca Ilie | AOSS | Experimental: general acceleration mechanisms for astrophysical plasmas
Justin C. Kasper | AOSS | Spacecraft sensor design
Karl Krushelnick | PHYS | Experimental: ultra-high intensity laser plasma interactions
Carolyn C Kuranz | AOSS | Experimental astrophysics
Wolfgang Lorenzon | PHYS | Experimental astrophysics
Mario Mateo | ASTRO | Magellan spectrographic instrumentation
Shawn McKee | PHYS | High throughput computing infrastructures
Jeff McMahon | PHYS | Experimental: cosmic microwave background
John Monnier | ASTRO | CHARA instrumentation
Jianming Qian | PHYS | Experimental astrophysics
Michael Schubnell | PHYS | Detectors for astronomy
Gregory Tarle | PHYS | Experimental astrophysics, infrared detectors, particle detectors
Kathryn Zurek | PHYS | Experimental astrophysics

Our Solar System

Alicia Aarnio | ASTRO | Solar activity: flares, coronal mass ejections
Brian Arbic | EES | Physical oceanography
Stephen W. Bougher | AOSS | Planetary atmospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres
Michael Combi | AOSS | Planetary satellite atmospheres, planetary exospheres, comets
R Paul Drake | AOSS | Radiative shocks, complex hydrodynamics, magnetized flows
Richard Frazin | AOSS | Solar corona
James D. Gleason | EES | Planetary geology, cosmochemistry
Xianglei Huang | AOSS | Radiative transfer, planetary atmospheres
Raluca Ili | AOSS | Solar wind
Xianzhe Jia | AOSS | Planetary magnetospheres, magnetic properties of moons
Justin C. Kasper | AOSS | Solar flares & wind
Paul Keiter | AOSS | Solar opacity
Enrico Landi | AOSS | Solar & heliospheric physics, atomic astrophysics
Susan Lepri | AOSS | Solar & heliospheric physics
Jie (Jackie) Li | EES | Material properties at deep earth conditions
Michael Liemohn | AOSS | Planetary space plasma physics
Mark Moldwin | AOSS | Magnetospheric and heliospheric physics
Patrick Seitzer | ASTRO | Orbital debris
Nathan Dale Sheldon | EES | Atmosphere-biosphere interactions, Earth’s atmospheric evolution
James A. Slavin | AOSS | Magnetospheric physics
Peter van Keken | EES | Dynamics of Earth's mantle
Youxue Zhang | EES | Water in and on the moon

Particle, High-Energy & Gravitational Wave Astrophysics

Katherine Freese | PHYS | Astroparticle theory
Dick Gustafson | PHYS | Gravitational-wave astronomy
Karl Krushelnick | PHYS | Experimental ultra-high intensity laser plasma interactions
Carolyn C Kuranz | AOSS | Experimental astrophysics
Jianming Qian | PHYS | Elementary particle experiment
Keith Riles | PHYS | Gravitational-wave astronomy
Michael Schubnell | PHYS | Experimental astrophysics
Gregory Tarle | PHYS | Acceleration and sources of cosmic rays
Kathryn Zurek | PHYS | Physics beyond the standard model in the neutrino sector

Stars & Planet Formation

Alicia Aarnio | ASTRO | Young stellar objects
Fred Adams | PHYS | Star formation and protoplanetary disks
Ted Bergin | ASTRO | Astrochemistry
Nuria Calvet | ASTRO | Star formation and protoplanetary disks
Richard Frazin | AOSS | Direct imaging of exoplanets
Katherine Freese | PHYS | Dark stars
Lee Hartmann | ASTRO | Star and planet formation
Xianglei Huang | AOSS | Radiative transfer, exoplanet atmospheres
Paul Keiter | AOSS | Supernova hydrodynamics, radiation transport
Ward Manchester | AOSS | Solar/stellar astrophysics
John Monnier | ASTRO | Stellar surface and exoplanet imaging
Sally Oey | ASTRO | Massive stars, star formation, IMF
Ian Roederer | ASTRO | Stellar abundances and nucleosynthesis
Bart van der Holst | AOSS | Stellar winds, exoplanets

Theoretical/Computational Astrophysics

Fred Adams | PHYS | Planet and star formation
Ted Bergin | ASTRO | Astrochemistry
Nuria Calvet | ASTRO | Star and planet formation
Michael Combi | AOSS | Observations and study of comets and cometary x-rays
Gus Evrard | PHYS | Galaxy cluster simulations
Katherine Freese | PHYS | Astroparticle physics
Oleg Gnedin | ASTRO | Formation and evolution of galaxies and star clusters
Lee Hartmann | ASTRO | Star and planet formation
Dragan Huterer | PHYS | Nature and properties of dark energy
Sarah Loebman | ASTRO | Galaxy formation simulations
Elena Rasia | PHYS | Galaxy cluster simulation (x-ray and gravitational lensing)
Mateusz Ruszkowski | ASTRO | Galaxy cluster simulations
Monica Valluri | ASTRO | Galaxy dynamics
Bart van der Holst | AOSS | Code development for space & laboratory plasmas