Introducing Marcel Pawlowski

I am Marcel Pawlowski (@8minutesold), a Schwarzschild Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam. I moved back to Germany about half a year ago from the University of California Irvine, where I was a Hubble Fellow. Before that, I was a postdoc at Case Western Reserve University and got my PhD from the University of Bonn in 2013. Most of my research revolves around dwarf and satellite galaxies, especially those in the Local Group. I study the phase-space distributions of systems of satellite galaxies and use them to test cosmological models. This has established the planes of satellite galaxies problem, a mismatch between the flattened, kinematically coherent observed satellite systems, and the typically more random satellite distributions found in cosmological simulations. In addition, I have a keen interest in other small scale problems of cosmology, alternatives to the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model, and philosophy of science.

Besides my research and spending time with my family, I very much enjoy visiting museums and exhibitions of contemporary art and photography, especially documentary and humanist photography. I am also active as a street photographer myself, documenting my impressions of the daily life in the different places my job has brought me to.

Twitter: @8minutesold


Introducing Jana Grcevich

I’m the outreach coordinator for Columbia University’s Astronomy Department, and an adjunct instructor at the Cooper Union School of Art and at the American Museum of Natural History. I received my PhD from Columbia University for work on dwarf galaxies and interstellar gas. I was the Kathryn W. Davis Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, where I taught future high-school science teachers with the Master of Arts in Teaching program, and where I host shows for the Astronomy Live series at the Hayden planetarium. I was an Insight Data Science fellow, and worked as a data scientist and consultant with Schireson Associates for a year and a half doing television ad targeting using machine learning. I was also a Simon’s Foundation Science Sandbox Fellow working on the interpretation of astronomical data for the public.

I have been a long time “space travel agent” and collaborator with Guerilla Science‘s Intergalactic Travel Bureau events, most recently at the Exploratorium. I co-wrote a space-oriented travel guide, the Vacation Guide to the Solar System, published by Penguin Random House in 2017, and worked on the free virtual reality Space Vacation app. I also enjoy printmaking, paper marbling, and textile arts.

Introducing Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor is a Canadian postdoctoral researcher working as a Gemini Science Fellow at Gemini Observatory’s Northern Operations Center in Hilo, Hawaii. He completed his degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in July 2016, and has been working at Gemini since June 2017. His research revolves around using low-mass stellar systems like globular clusters, ultra-compact dwarfs, and dwarf galaxies to constrain the formation histories of their giant host galaxies in the nearby universe. His favourite colours are optical and near-infrared. He tweets @taylored4astro.

Introducing Michael Rutkowski

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.

Michael tweets regularly at @mjrutkow