People

LAMA Director

Research interests
multiwavelength astrophysics, galaxy formation and evolution, galaxy morphologies, galaxy mergers and interactions, active galactic nuclei, supermassive black hole mergers, black hole - galaxy coevolution 

LAMA Faculty

Joel Kastner

Professor
585-475-7179
jhkpci@rit.edu
Research Interests: Stellar Evolution, Young Stars, Planetary Nebulae

Michael Lam

Assistant Professor
585-475-7545
mtlsps@rit.edu
Research Interests: Pulsar Timing, Interstellar Medium

Michael Richmond

Michael Richmond
Professor
Director of the RIT Observatory
585-475-2538
mwrsps@rit.edu

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson
Director of the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology PhD Program
585-475-2726
axrsps@rit.edu
Research Interests: Active Galactic Nuclei, Interstellar Medium

Student and Postdoc Researchers

Jessie Bublitz

Jesse Bublitz

 jtb1435@rit.edu

for Srikanthan RameshPh.D. Student

Jesse's research focuses on the molecular chemistry and heating of Planetary Nebulae. Currently, he studies the chemistry and heating of planetary nebulae using Radio telescope observations to understand their dependence on high-energy radiation fields from their central stars.

Jessica Chellino

Jessica Chellino

 jcc9510@rit.edu

Physics B.S. Student

Jessica is trying to understand how the star formation rates of galaxies are correlated to their stellar masses. With PSF photometry and SED fitting, she is able to examine the star formation rates of galaxies undetected by the Herschel Space Observatory. She is aslo examining the role that environment plays in galaxy evolution and morphology.
 for Samantha Sorondo

Isabella Cox

Isabella Cox

 igc5972@rit.edu
for Jakob Hamilton

Physics B.S. Student

Isabella is currently working on coding a pipeline to reduce spectroscopic data taken by the twin Gemini telescopes. With the reduced spectroscopy, she has already measured redshifts which are considered more precise than existing photometric redshifts. She is also working on measuring star formation rates from emission line fluxes to study the star formation rate density relationship with respect to redshift. 

Dorothy "Annie" Dickson-Vandervelde

Dorothy "Annie" Dickson-Vandervelde

 dad1197@rit.edu

Ph.D. Student

Annie's research interests lie in exoplanets and planet formation, mainly by studying the environments in which they form, protoplanetary disks. Currently she has analyzed the molecular chemistry of the disk V4046 Sgr with ALMA. She used python to analyze the radial properties of different molecules within this disk. She is currently analyzing archival ALMA data of the disk around T Cha. She has performed morphology analysis of it XO emission and will be helping create a model of the CO emission.

Ashley Frank

Ashley Frank

 alf7723@rit.edu

Ph.D. Student

Ashley's main research interest is in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Her current research project involves using the technique of reverberation mapping in order to constrain the size of the dusty torus in AGN.

Muyun Liu

Muyun Liu

 ml8283@rit.edu 

M.S. Student

Muyun is interested in studying stellar evolution and multi-wavelength methods in astrophysics.

Christina Magagnoli

Christina Magagnoli

  ctm3357@rit.edu 

M.S./B.S. Student

Christina's research interests involve studying galaxy mergers and the role they play in the evolution of the galaxy. Currently she is focusing on the connections between galaxy mergers and active galactic nuclei in the CANDELS fields, using visual classification data on the morphologies of galaxies as well as radio, IR, and X-ray data to search for AGN signatures. Future work involves expanding to investigate the effects of mergers on star formation rates.

Athis

Athis Osathapan

 aosathapan2020@macduffie.org 

High School Intern

Athis is using images from the ALMA archive to measure the total gas masses of galaxy interactions and mergers to investigate the effect that the evolving gas fraction has had on the role that these interactions play in galaxy evolution.

Caitlin Rose

Caitlin Rose

 crr9508@rit.edu 

Ph.D. Student

Caitlin works on characterizing the morphologies of very high redshift galaxies in order to identify galaxy mergers, which are one of the driving forces of galaxy evolution. She is using simulated James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images to develop a new and reliable method for identifying mergers via quantitative measurements and visual classification as a function of image depth, filter and perspective in preparation for real images from JWST. JWST is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and will probe higher redshifts than HST with higher resolution and quality. 

 

Dary

Dary Ruiz-Rodriguez

  darpci@rit.edu 

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Ekta Shah

Ekta Shah

  eas7266@rit.edu

Ph.D. Student

Ekta is interested in the role of galaxy interactions and mergers in the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. Specifically, she is conducting a statistical analysis using multi-wavelength CANDELS and COSMOS Survey data to estimate the effects of these interaction on star formation and AGN activity of galaxies over z~ 0-3. She has also worked on spectroscopic observations of galaxies obtained using the DEIMOS instrument on the Keck telescope in Hawaii to estimate the spectroscopic redshifts of potentially interacting high redshift galaxies.

Brittany Vanderhoof

   bxv3026@rit.edu

Ph.D. Student

Brittany's research interests are in a multi-wavelength observational approach to understanding galaxy formation and evolution over cosmic time. Currently she is using this approach to investigate the kinematics of luminous starburst galaxies at high redshift, in an effort to determine the role of mergers in galaxy evolution. She continues to consider her previous work of the dynamic and chemical nature of circumgalactic gas as it may relate to her current analyses. She is also passionate about science outreach , to the general public and under-represented groups in the STEM fields.

Caleb

Caleb Wetherell

   cxw1314@rit.edu 

Physics B.S. Student

Caleb is using the Voronoi Tesselation technique to create environmental density maps in the CANDELS fields and investigate the evolution of environmental trends for star formation and AGN activity.

Former Members

Triana Almeyda

Triana Almeyda

AST PhD, 2017
Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Southhampton

Kevin Cooke

 kcc7952@rit.edu 

for Samantha SorondoAST Ph.D., 2019
Currently Postdoc at the University of Kansas

Kevin studies the formation history and evolution of the most massive galaxies in the universe, called Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). Specifically, I use the COSMOS survey data to match stellar mass and star formation models to UV, optical, and infrared observations. He also has an interest in science outreach and science policy.

Justin

Justin Gallagher

Yashashree Jadahv

Yashashree Jadahv

 ysj1195@rit.edu 
for Jakob Hamilton

Ph.D., 2019
Currently Postdoc at Seoul National University

Yashashree's research interests are Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and galaxy evolution. She is currently working on a study to search for displaced supermassive black holes in nearby elliptical galaxies using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archival images as a signpost of gravitational recoil.

Dale Mercado

Dale Mercado

drm4487@rit.edu 

Physics B. S. Student

Dale's work focuses on analyzing galaxy spectral energy distributions in order to quantify the contribution of AGN.

Dinalva Sales

Dinalva Sales

Postdoctoral Researcher 2012-13
Currently, Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil

Meaghann

Meaghann Stoelting

 mls6495@rit.edu 

AST M.S., 2019
Currently Planetarium Supervisor and Director at Columbia Public Schools' Planetarium

Meaghann studies individual stellar population physical properties in very distant galaxies. Astronomers observe a morphological change when looking at galaxies near and far - there are many more elliptical galaxies in the nearby universe and many more star forming, disk-like galaxies in the distant universe. My goal is to understand why this star formation stops and galaxies change their shape. By looking at small scale properties of these star forming distant galaxies, we can look for clues as to why star formation is ongoing and has ceased.

Krystal Tyler

Krystal Tyler

kdtsps@rit.edu

Postdoctoral Researcher, 2016 - 2019
Currently at Arete Associates

Krystal studies galaxy evolution in different environments. Most of her previous research focused on how the cluster environment affects a galaxy's star formation over time; currently, however, she is investigating the relations between local density, star formation rate, and AGN activity.

Other Former Members and their Current Positions

Rachel Curran (Postdoc 2010-2012)
Dan Dicken (Postdoc 2009-2011; Research Fellow at CEA de Saclay, France)
Marcus Freeman (AST PhD, 2015; Web developer at Bowst, Portsmouth, NH)
Preeti Kharb (Postdoc 2010-2012; Faculty, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, India)
Davide Lena (AST PhD 2015; Postdoc at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research)
Rudy Montez (AST PhD, 2011; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Chandra X-ray Center Director's Office)
Dave Principe (AST PhD, 2014; MIT/Chandra X-ray Center)
Kristina Punzi (AST PhD, 2018; Wellesley College)
Valerie Rapson (AST PhD, 2015; Outreach Astronomer, Dudley Observatory at the Museum of Innovation & Science, Schenectady, NY)
Germano Sacco (Postdoc, 2010-2011; Arcetri Observatory)
Trent Seelig (AST MS 2018, Data Analyst at the NRAO in Socorro, NM)
Grant Tremblay (AST PhD, 2011; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Chandra X-ray Center)
Sravani Vaddi (AST PhD, 2016; Postdoc at National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, India)
Billy Vazquez (AST PhD, 2015; PeerPlace Networks)
Stuart Young (Postdoc 2008-2011)