Introducing Abhijeet Borkar

I did my B.Sc. from the Fergusson College, Pune, India in 2010, M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Pune, Pune, India, with specialization in Quantum Field Theory. After that I went for PhD at the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, as a part of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR). I recently completed my PhD in November 2015, and will soon start my first post-doc position at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.

For my masters’ thesis, I worked on the modelling of the gas distribution in local dwarf galaxies and relating the star formation rates with the gas distribution. My PhD thesis was about the observations of the Galactic Center at 3 mm to study the flaring activity of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and the study of the stellar SiO maser sources in the central parsec region. My research interests include the Galactic Center region, the AGN-host relation & Evolution, Cosmic Archaeology, Formation of first objects in the Universe (First Stars, First Galaxies, First Black Holes), Radio Interferometry etc.

I am also fairly active in public outreach in India, where I have been involved with the Astro Club at the Fergusson College, Pune. Currently involved in activities related to improving science awareness among students in parts of rural India.

You can find me on Twitter at @borkarabhijeet


Introducing Jennifer Johnson

Dr. Jennifer Johnson is a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Ohio State University. She studies the formation and evolution of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies and the origin of the elements. Her favorite element is arsenic, followed closely by ytterbium. Jennifer is currently the Spokesperson of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and is particularly involved in the @APOGEEsurvey of the compositions and motions of hundreds of thousands of Milky Way stars. She should really be writing the Data Release 13 paper right now.

Jennifer grew up as a Foreign Service brat in Arlington, Virginia, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Trindid and Tobago, and Bonn, West Germany. She received her B.A. in physics at Carleton College and her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. Her PhD with Mike Bolte focused on deriving ages for stars using the radioactive element thorium, and she continues to try and guess the ages and masses of stars. After postdoctoral fellowships at @CarnegieAstro in Pasadena and at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victora, British Columbia, Jennifer moved to Columbus, Ohio to join the faculty at Ohio State. She is one of the tweeters from the @sdssurveys and @APOGEEsurvey accounts as well as tweeting personally as @jajohnson51.

Introducing Jeyhan Kartaltepe

Jeyhan Kartaltepe is an assistant professor in her first year at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester New York. Her research involves studying how galaxies evolve over time, specifically looking at the role that galaxy mergers and interactions have played. She is a multiwavelength observational astronomer using data from telescopes all over the world, on the ground and in space and is a part of several international collaborations including COSMOS, GOODS, and CANDELS. She is very active in public education and outreach and maintains, edits, and writes for the CANDELS blog.

Jeyhan is originally from San Antonio, TX but moved to Hamilton, NY to attend Colgate University for her undergraduate degree. There she majored in Astronomy-Physics and took advantage of opportunities to do research, including a project using the campus 16 inch telescope. She then went to the University of Hawaii to obtain her masters and PhD degrees in Astronomy. After graduating, she moved to Tucson, Arizona to start a postdoc at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and then continued on as a Hubble Fellow. Last year she moved across the country to begin life as a professor at RIT and is excited to be combining her enthusiasm for both research and teaching there. Her hobbies include watching and reading science fiction, reading other novels and non-fiction books, fitness when she finds the time, and spending time with her two cats.

Introducing Jane Rigby

This week’s Astrotweeps host is Jane Rigby. Jane is an astrophysicist whose research focuses on the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, the growth of supermassive black holes, and spectroscopic diagnostics. Jane is a civil servant at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington, DC. She serves as a Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope.

She was an organizer of Inclusive Astronomy 2015, and serves on the American Astronomical Society’s Committee for Sexual-Orientation and Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA).

Jane has given numerous public lectures, at venues including TEDxMidAtlantic and the Library of Congress. She has blogged for AstroBetter and Las Campanas Belles.

She lives in Maryland with her wife and their preschooler. Her website is and she normally tweets at @janerrigby.

Introducing Ivy Wong

Ivy Wong is an Australian astronomer working as an Australian Research Council’s Super Science Fellow in Perth at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) hosted by the University of Western Australia. Unfortunately, even though she’s a Super Science Fellow, she doesn’t get a cape… She studies how galaxies start and stop forming stars, grow supermassive black holes and how galaxies have come to look like they do today. Her plans are to use the new telescopes being built in Western Australia to help her figure out the answers to some of these questions. You can also help Ivy with her research as a citizen scientist. Check out and help her find black holes in distant galaxies!

Ivy received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2008. She then worked at Yale University and CSIRO (Sydney) before moving to Perth and ICRAR. Ivy can normally be found at @owning_ivy.

Introducing Mark Lacy

Mark Lacy works at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia. He works on support for the ALMA telescope as part of the North American ALMA Science Center, principally on data processing and user support for the ALMA archive. His science interests lie in the infrared and radio, in particular using surveys with the Spitzer Space Telescope as a basis to study galaxy evolution and active galactic nuclei.

Mark obtained his PhD in radio astronomy in 1993 from Cambridge University in the UK, after a postdoc and a temporary lectureship at Oxford he moved to the US in 1999 to work as a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory before moving the the Spitzer Science Center in 2002, and then to NRAO in 2009. Mark can normally be found at @markdavidlacy.

Introducing Nancy Hine

Nancy Hine is a PhD student at the University of Hertfordshire. Her work focuses on high redshift galaxies and in particular how environment influences their evolution from highly star forming to passive galaxies. This includes galaxy mergers and the flow of cold gas into galaxies to fuel star formation. Her Master’s project focused on the identification of extremely red galaxies and the use of photometric redshift fitting to differentiate between high redshift and very dusty low redshift galaxies. She obtained her physics degree from the Open University, studying part time for 6 years as part of a career change. In her previous career she was an accountant, working as a senior audit manger for Ernst & Young in London.

Nancy enjoys doing outreach, mostly at Bayfordbury Observatory, where she gives talks on the solar system, planetarium shows and telescope tours to groups from schools, cubs and brownies etc. A more unusual activity involved displaying a poster on her research at the World Science Fiction Convention in London last summer. She is also Chair of the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) Postgraduate Student Representative Panel and a member of her department’s Equality Committee. So far the highlight of her career in astronomy has been observing at the James Clarke Maxwell Telescope, on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Nancy can normally be found at @nancyhine.