Physics 9 - Solar Systems
Astronomy & Astrophysics, Physics
University of California, San Diego
I am an observational and experimental astrophysicist that enjoys building optical and infrared instruments for telescopes, and studying galaxies and supermassive black holes near and far. I specialize in designing and using astronomical instruments that make use of adaptive optics, with a particular focus on techniques using integral field spectrographs. I am a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) researcher and instrumentalist. I am Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics at University of California, San Diego. I am the Principal Investigator of the UC San Diego Optical and Infrared Laboratory.
Publications: ADS orcid id
Curricula Vitae: CV
The Optical & Infrared Laboratory focuses on developing facility-class instrumentation for large ground-based telescopes and developing new, innovative techniques for astronomical instrumentation. We are currently engaging in development in Liger, the next-gen adaptive optics fed Keck Observatory instrument; Thirty Meter Telescope instrumentation (IRIS and MODHIS); and near-infrared and optical SETI instrumentation. Shelley Wright is the Principal Investigator of Liger, Project Scientist of IRIS/TMT, and Principal Investigator of Panoramic SETI ("PANOSETI") and NIROSETI.
My current research focuses on answering how galaxies and supermassive black holes form and evolve over cosmic time. In particular, we use integral field spectrographs with adaptive optics to identify and analyze the dynamics and chemical abundances of galaxies in the early universe, and properties of supermassive black holes. This technique provides a unique ability to probe the 3D spatial extent of high-redshift (z > 1, look back time greater than 7.5 Gyr) galaxies and active galactic nuclei at sub-arcsecond (sub-kiloparsec) scales.We are leading a Keck program to resolve Quasar host galaxies to study their star formation properties, nebular excitation mechanisms, dynamical properties, and their environments.
I work on a variety of other projects, including the imaging of gravitationally-lensed distant galaxies, exploration of nearby galaxies, understanding star formation, investigating the black hole-bulge (or M-sigma) relationship, and studies surrounding astrophysical transients and technosignatures.
Our team focuses on developing optical and near-infrared SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) instrument and experiments. We recently commisioned a new near-infrared SETI instrument (NIROSETI) at the Nickel telescope (1m) at Lick Observatory. The premise of this instrument is to search for ETI signals which would use strong pulsed near-infrared laser signals at nanosecond intervals that can be distinguished from astrophysical sources. This is the first near-infrared SETI search every conducted, and we are currently designing new methods and instrumentation for future searches. We are also developing the first dedicated optical and near-infrared SETI observatoryi (PANOSETI) that will be capable of searching for transient signals from nanosecond to second timescales over the instantaneous observable sky (1,000's of sq. degrees).
Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2022, Spring 2023
Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021
(Developed) Spring 2015, Winter 2016, Winter 2017, Fall 2018, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, and Fall 2019
(Developed) Spring 2019, Winter 2023
I am fortunate to work with a superb group of undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, researchers, and engineers on numerous projects involving both instrumentation and observational programs. Check out more about our research group at the UCSD OIRlab.
Aaron Brown, Research Development Engineer,Oct 2019 -
Jerome Maire, Project Scientist, August 2016 -
Sanchit Sabhlok,June 2019 -
James Wiley, Sep 2018 -
Sonata Simonaitis-Boyd, Sep 2020 -
Rachel Kepler, March 2022 -
Nils Rundquist, Software Engineer, May 2018 - March 2023
Andrea Zonca, Computational Scientist (SDSC), August 2018 - 2020
Arun Surya, CASS/TMT Postdoc, Aug 2018 - Aug 2021
Gregory Walth, CASS/TMT Postdoc, Oct 2015 - Aug 2018
Shaojie Chen, Dunlap Postdoc, Jan - Dec 2014
Maren Cosens, Aug 2016 - Aug 2023, UCSD, Ph.D.
Andrey Vayner, Sep 2013 - Aug 2019, UCSD,Ph.D.
Dan Marshall, May 2015 - May 2016, UCSD, M.Sc.
Etsuko Mieda, Feb 2012 - Aug 2015, UofT, Ph.D.
Heidi White, Feb 2013 - Dec 2014 - UofT
Elliot Meyer, Oct 2012 - June 2014, 2nd year project, UofT
Steven Janssens, May - Sept 2013, 2nd year project, UofT
Stephen Ro, May - Sept 2012, 2nd year project, UofT
Kalp Mathur, Sep 2020 - Feb 2022
Jonjohn Ramos, Oct 2016 - Aug 2019
Nina Shirman, Oct 2016 - July 2019
Guillaume Shippee, Jan - August 2019
Colin Barret, Oct 2016 - June 2018
Clayton Hultgren, January 2017 - June 2019
Brenda Araiza, June - August 2018
Siyang Li, June - August 2018
Brian Merino, May - August 2017
Melisa Tallis, March - December 2016
Andres Duenas, July 2015 - December 2016
Tran Tsan, June - August 2016
Patrick Dorval, May 2014 - May 2015
Hope Boyce, May - Aug 2014
Flavia Santos Do Amaral, May - Aug 2014
Jacob Gordon, May - Aug 2013
Andrey Vayner, May - Aug 2012
Miranda Jarvis, May - Aug 2012
University of California, San Diego
Astronomy & Astrophysics 9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0424
Office: SERF building, Rm. 414
Optical & Infrared Lab: SERF building, Rm. 463