This week features Michael Rutkowski, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Astrophysics. Michael recently finished his Ph.D. research in 2013 at Arizona State University. There, as in Minnesota, Michael has focused on the formation and evolution of galaxies across the Hubble Sequence. His dissertation research was primarily focused on the star formation histories of early-type galaxies, a broad class of massive galaxies which were once roundly assumed to be “red and dead” and lacking recent star formation. Using UV-optical imaging of these galaxies, he and collaborators have shown the picture of ETG evolution to be a bit more complicated.
While at Minnesota, he continues to use the Hubble Space Telescope, space-based UV observatories, and large ground-based facilities for the study of galaxy evolution, though his research now is primarily focused on dwarf star-forming galaxies and their role in cosmic reionization. In addition to the astrophysics of galaxies, Michael is also generally interested in the development of techniques and algorithms for quantitatively assessing multi-wavelength galaxy morphologies. Outside of the lab, Michael enjoys making galileoscopes with students around the US, teaching public classes on general astronomy at the local learning annex, and learning more of the cosmologies of the native peoples of the places where he’s been lucky enough to live during his term as a science migrant.