Current Women Astronomers A-G

Amy Barger

Amy is an American astronomer whose discoveries have most concerned quasars, black holes, and other far distant objects. She helped show that the activity of black holes in nearby galaxies was greater and more recent than expected. She also worked with others on discoveries concerning stellar activity in distant galaxies. She currently is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Amy earned a PhD in Astronomy in 1997 from King’s College, University of Cambridge, and has and has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy by the American Astronomical Society.

Leila Belkora

Leila Belkora obtained a BA in Physics, and MS in Engineering from Cornell University. Leila completed her PhD in Astrophysics from University of Colorado, Boulder in solar radio astronomy. Leila is the author of ‘Minding the Heavens’ – A book describing how we discovered the Milky Way. It’s quite a good read, and has a lot on how the work of Wright, Herschel, Struve, Huggins, Kapteyn, Shapely and Hubble came to help us understand our place in the universe.  You can find Leila’s book here:

Erika Böhm-Vitense

Erika is an astronomer known for her work on Cepheid variables and stellar atmospheres. She received her doctorate from the University of Kiel in 1951 and is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington.  In 1965, she was awarded the Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy by the American Astronomical Society. She is the author of three volumes of introductory astrophysics texts.

Nancy Brickhouse

Nancy Brickhouse is a senior astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory who specializes in studying how stars behave and why. Here’s more info on Nancy:

Carolyn Brinkworth

Carolyn is an astronomer working at the Spitzer Science Centre. Her work has involved looking at the hot gas that accumulates near a variety of astronomical objects like binary stars

Sarah Brough

Sarah is currently working for the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney.  Sarah was recently awarded funding to travel to Japan to work with astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan to compare the properties of dusty star-forming galaxies in galaxy clusters in the local Universe with those from the distant Universe to see how those galaxies evolve. More info on Sarah can be found here:

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, is a British astrophysicist who, as a postgraduate student, discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, for which Hewish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle. Dr. Hewish was awarded the Nobel Prize, along with Dr. Ryle, without the inclusion of Bell as a co-recipient, which was controversial, and was roundly condemned by fellow astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle.

Margaret Burbridge

Margaret is an English astrophysicist noted for original research and holding many administrative posts, including director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.During her career she served at the University of London Observatory, Yerkes Observatory, Cavendish Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, and was first director of the Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences at the University of San Diego.

Robin Canup

Robin is an American astrophysicist. She received her B.S. from Duke University and her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her main area of research concerns the origins of planets and satellites. In 2003 she won the Harold C. Urry Prize. She recently co-authored a book called The Origin of the Earth and Moon. Her work is based upon the giant impact hypothesis and has involved intensive modeling testing, simulation how planetary collisions actually unfold.

Merieme Chadid

Merieme is a Moroccan astronomer and researcher at Dome C, Concordia Research Station in Antarctica. She is considered the first astronomer in the world to have been committed to install a large astronomical observatory in Antarctica.

Kyongae Change

Kyongae Change is a South Korean astrophysicist.  She is best known for her work on gravitational lensing.  Chang as a research associate on astrometric binaries with Professors van de Kamp and Heintz at Sproul Observatory from 1969 – 1971 before obtaining a Doctorate in Science from Hamburg University with her work on the Chang-Refsdal lens in 1979.She returned to Korea in 1985 and became a professor at Cheongju University.

Jun Chen

Jun Chen is a Chinese American astronomer. She obtained her BS at Beijing University in 1990, and obtained her PhD from the University of Hawaii in 1997. Working together with David Jewitt, Jane Luu, and other astronomers, she has co-discovered a number of Kuiper belt objects.

Lyudmila Ivanovna Chernykh

Lyudmila is a Russian, Ukrainian, and Soviet astronomer. In 1959 she graduated from Irkutsk State Pedagogical University. Between 1959 and 1963 she worked at the Institute of Physico-Technical and Radiotechnical Measurements in Irkutsk.  Between 1964 and 1998 she was the Scientific Worker for the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy of the USSR Academy of Sciences working in the observation base of the institute at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. She is the wife and colleague of Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh.  The asteroid 2325 was named in their honour. Chernykn has discovered a number of asteroids, including the Apollo asteroid 2212 Hephaistos and 3147 Samantha.

Carol Christian

Carol Christian is an American astronomer, educator, and Information Technologist. Her astronomical work is focused on stellar populations. She has worked extensively in studying the use of emerging technologies for science education.

Frances Anne Cordova

France Anne is an American astrophysicist, researcher and university administrator. She is the eleventh President of Purdue University.

Heather Anita Couper

Heather is a British Astronomer who popularised astronomy in the 1980’s and 1990’s on British Television. She is a former president of the British Astronomical Association.

Lucy d’Escoffier Crespo da Silva

Lucy was a senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a promising astronomer for whom the asteroid 96747 Crespodasilva is named.  Lucy’s area of specialization was observing light curves of minor planets. While making observations, at the Wallace Astrophysical Observatory, August 16, 1999, she sighted a new asteroid.  She also contributed data toward the discovery of spin-vector alignment in the Koronis family of asteroids.

Audrey C. Delsanti

Audrey is a French astronomer who co-discovered (40314) 1999 KR16 in 1999 whilst in La Silla Observatory in Chile. In 2004 she was awarded a NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship in astrobiology at the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Anlaug Amanda Djupvik

Anlaug is a Norwegian astronomer. Her main field of research is star formation and the origin of the initial mass function.  Since May 2000 she has been employed as an astronomer at the NOT, first as deputy astronomer in charge and later (2002) as acting astronomer-in-charge.

Sandra Moore Faber

Sandra is a Professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, and works at the Lick Observatory. Faber was the head of a team (known as the Seven Samurai) that discovered a mass concentration called ‘The Great Attractor’. She was also the Principal Investigator to the Nuker Team, which used the Hubble Space Telescope to search for supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. Faber was deeply involved in the initial use of Hubble as a member of the WFPC-1 camera team, and was responsible for diagnosing the spherical aberration in the Hubble primary.  At UCSC she focuses her research on the evolution of structure in the universe and the evolution and formation of galaxies. Faber received the Heineman Prize in 1985 and the Harvard Centennial Medal in 2006.

Sandra’s most recent recognition comes from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Sandra M. Faber received the 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute for three decades of research on the formation and evolution of galaxies, and for her altruistic dedication to building new tools for the astronomy community. Her research revolutionized the way cosmologists understand and model the universe.

Annette Ferguson

No info yet.

Debra Fischer

Debra is a professor of astronomy at Yale University and has co-authored over 100 papers on dwarf and sub-stellar mass objects in the galactic neighbourhood, including many on extrasolar planets. She is a principal investigator with the N2K Consorstium searching for exoplanets.

Katherine Freese

Katherine is a theoretical astrophysicist and the George Eugene Uhlenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and Associate Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. She is known for her work in theoretical cosmology at the interface of particle physics and astrophysics.

Catharine ‘Katy’ D. Garmany

Katy was the President of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and has done research on star formation.  She was awarded the Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy by the American Astronomical Society.

Margaret J. Gellar

Margaret is interested in mapping the distribution of the mysterious, ubiquitous dark matter in the universe, the halo of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, to understand the link between the history of our Galaxy and the history of the universe, mapping clusters of galaxies to understand how these systems develop over the history of the universe, and measuring and interpreting the signatures of star formation in the spectra of galaxies to understand the links between the star formation in galaxies and their environment.

Margherita Hack

Margherita is best known in Italy for her rational atheistic views. In 1945 she received her laurea in Physics from the University of Florence, with a thesis on cepheid variables. She was full professor of astronomy from 1964 to 1997 at the University of Trieste, and retired in 1998.

Melissa Hulbert

No info yet.

Roberta Humpherys

No info yet.

Tamara Jernigan

No info yet.

Christine Jones

No info yet.

Rosaly M.C. Lopes Gautier (volcanlogist)

No info yet.

Pamela L. Gay

Pamela is an American astronomer, educator, podcaster and writer. She was one of the cofounders of Slacker Astronomy and was an “on air” personality for the show from February 2005 until September 2006. Pamela currently co-hosts Astronomy Cast with Frasier Cain.  Pamela’s main affiliation is as a visiting assistant professor of Physics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she teaches introductory physics and astronomy.  Pamela is also an instructor with the University of Swinburne in Australia as part of their pioneering astronomical distance learning program and is active in outreach within the astronomical community. Her main research interests include RR Lyrae with which she collaborates with both professional and amateur astronomers across the world in order to gather needed data.  Pamela has a blog at:

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