Distinguished Research Professor Norbert Bartel studies compact, celestial sources of radio waves such as supernovae, pulsars and black holes.
Professor Michael De Robertis studies the details underlying activity in galactic nuclei involving the accretion of gas onto supermassive black holes.
Senior Lecturer Paul Delaney enlists undergraduate students at York to use the telescopes of the York University Observatory for studies of near-Earth asteroids, eclipsing binary stars, and variable stars.
Associate Professor Patrick Hall studies the luminous active galactic known as quasars, particularly those with outflowing winds reaching up to 20% of the speed of light.
Professor Marshall McCall studies the organization and evolution of normal galaxies, large and small, in the nearby universe.
Emeritus Professor Wayne Cannon focuses his research on current and future applications of very long baseline radio interferometry.
Dr. Michael Bietenholz is a senior research associate studying the radio-wavelength emission of gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, supernova remnants including pulsar-wind nebulae, and active galactic nuclei. He also holds a position in South Africa, where he is involved in planning the observations to be undertaken with the 80-dish MeerKAT radio telescope which is currently under construction in the Karoo.
Dr. Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo is a post-doctoral fellow working with Professor Hall studying broad absorption line quasars, particularly those with the fastest known outflows.
Laura Chajet is a graduate student working with Professor Hall studying accretion (the process that fuels supermassive black holes) and related phenomena such as the ejection of matter from a quasar accretion disk in the form of winds or jets.
George Conidis is a graduate student working with Professor McCall on analogues to the Local Sheet of galaxies.
Neda Hejazi is a graduate student working with Prof. De Robertis on the properties of M dwarf stars and how such stars can be used to probe the structure of our galaxy.
Bahman Karimi is a graduate student working with Prof. Bartel on radio interferometric observations of supernovae.
Lianne Manzer is a graduate student working with Prof. De Robertis on active galactic nuclei in groups of galaxies.
Sasha Novikov is a graduate student working with Prof. Bartel to place a limit on the proper motion across the sky of the radio core of the quasar 3C 345, which is associated with a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy.
Jesse Rogerson is a graduate student working with Prof. Hall studying the colour variability of broad absorption line quasars.
Selected Recent Graduate Alumni:
Dr. Robin Metcalfe worked with Prof. McCall studying the Local Sheet, a flattened collection of roughly 120 galaxies including the Milky Way. To understand how it formed, she has conducted a near-infrared imaging survey of the 80 nearest dwarf irregular galaxies (dIs) in the Local Sheet to establish whether the global properties of dIs are affected by the cosmic structures in which they reside. The imaging survey was conducted over 8 observing runs at telescopes in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile and South Africa.
Dr. Sunne (Xiaoyi) Dong studied nearby low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) with Prof. De Robertis. LLAGNs are common in the nearby universe. By studying the AGN activity and the properties of their host galaxies, we gain understanding about how these LLAGNs originate and evolve.
Stuart Dack, M.Sc., worked with Prof. McCall investigating new ways to quantify the chemical composition of galaxies. The abundance of metals declines steeply with distance from a galaxy's center, and the details of the decline can constrain how gas flows within these galaxies have affected their evolution.
Dr. Alireza Rafiee worked with Prof. Hall studying quasar black hole masses. He estimated black holes masses using quasar spectra and examined the underlying bias and scatter in the estimation methods. Applications of quasar black hole masses studied in his thesis included the radiative efficiency of quasar accretion disks as a means of constraining quasar black hole spins, quasar lifetimes, and the mass-luminosity plane of quasars.
Dr. Christopher Ryan worked with Prof. De Robertis on the co-evolution of galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their centres. In particular, he explored the possible role of violent galaxy interactions in triggering the intense energy released by active galactic nuclei.
Selected Recent Undergraduate Alumni:
Victor Arora is now a graduate student in the astronomy Ph.D. program at McMaster U. While an undergraduate at York, Victor worked with Prof. Hall to better understand the spectra of two unusual quasars discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He presented this research as a poster at the 2006 annual meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society.
Aaron Maxwell, M.Sc. is now a graduate student in the astronomy program at McMaster U. At York, Aaron worked with Prof. Delaney at the York Observatory and with Prof. Hall on a project to identify the absorption bands seen in certain peculiar white dwarf stars. He was second author on a paper resulting from that project (Hall & Maxwell 2008, Astrophysical Journal 678, 1292).
Sarah Sadavoy, M.Sc., is now a graduate student in the astronomy Ph.D. program at U. Victoria. While an undergraduate at York, Sarah worked with Prof. Delaney, Prof. McCall and Prof. Hall. She is second author on a paper resulting from her work with Prof. Hall as an NSERC summer undergraduate research assistant (Hall, Sadavoy et al. 2007, Astrophysical Journal 665, 174).
Rachel Ward-Maxwell, M.Sc. is now a graduate student in the astronomy program at McMaster U. While at York, Rachel worked with Prof. Delaney, Prof. McCall and Prof. Hall. She is a coauthor on a scientific paper in preparation resulting from her work on winds from accretion disks with Prof. Hall, and took second place for her talk on this work at the 2007 Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference.