Astrophysics and Cosmology at UCI

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students in the Astrophysics and Cosmology group at UC Irvine are engaged in research in diverse areas of astronomy and astrophysics. Current research areas include cosmology and particle astrophysics, observational and theoretical studies of galaxy evolution, dark matter, black holes, quasars, and galaxy clusters, climate and habitability of exoplanets, and the design of optical telescopes and instrumentation.

Astroparticle physicists at UCI carry out experimental research on on astrophysical neutrinos and cosmic rays: see the experimental particle physics page for more information.

Affiliated Research Centers and Facilities

The UC Irvine Center for Cosmology unites astrophysicists and particle physicists carrying out theoretical, observational, and experimental research on the composition, origin, and fate of the Universe, the fundamental physics governing it, and the evolution of galaxies and structure in the Universe. 

UC Irvine is a member of the University of California Observatories (UCO) multi-campus research unit. UCO manages Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton (near San Jose, California) and coordinates UC's partnerships in the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. UCI astronomers carry out observational projects at Keck and Lick, and play active roles in technical and science planning for TMT.

UCI was also the headquarters campus of the Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution (CGE), a multi-campus UC research center funded by the UC Office of the President during 2009-2014.

Additionally, astronomers at UCI carry out observational research using NASA facilities including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. UCI astronomers also collaborate in the eBOSS, DESI, and LSST surveys of the large-scale structure of the Universe, designed to probe the nature of cosmic acceleration.

Seminars and events

The Astrophysics group hosts a weekly seminar series during the academic year. Astrophysics seminars are held tuesdays at 4:00 pm in NS2 1201.

On Wednesday and Friday at 11:15 am in FRH 2139 we hold an informal discussion of recent papers on the arXiv. We use the Vox Charta portal to organize the discussions.


Astrophysics and Cosmology Personnel

Faculty and research areas:
Kevork Abazajian Dark matter, precision cosmology, neutrino physics, galaxy formation theory
Aaron Barth Supermassive black holes, quasars and active galactic nuclei
James Bullock Galaxy formation theory and simulations, dark matter, near-field cosmology
David Buote X-ray astronomy, dark matter, massive galaxies, and galaxy clusters
Gary Chanan (Emeritus) Optics and wavefront sensing for segmented-mirror telescopes
Michael Cooper Galaxy evolution, large multiwavelength surveys, data reduction and analysis pipelines
Asantha Cooray Theoretical cosmology, infrared surveys and galaxy evolution
Manoj Kaplinghat Dark matter, dark energy, gravitational lensing, and near-field cosmology
David Kirkby Observational cosmology, large surveys, dark matter and dark energy
Simona Murgia High-energy astrophysics, observational cosmology, dark matter, dark energy
Aomawa Shields Climate and habitability of planetary systems
Tammy Smecker-Hane Galaxy evolution, stellar populations, astronomy education, UCI Observatory
Virginia Trimble History of science and scientometrics, binary star astrophysics



Sheldon Campbell
Chang Feng
Diego González Buitrago
Francisco Javier Sanchez Lopez
Hooshang Nayyeri
Marcel Pawlowski
Victor Robles
Alejandro Gonzalez-Samaniego
Vivian U



Graduate Students

Bela Abolfathi
Kevin Andrade
Benjamin Boizelle
Andrew Brandel
Tim Carleton
Oliver Elbert
Sean Fillingham
Andrew Graus
Ryan Keeley
Tyler Kelley
Anna Kwa
Ketron Mitchell-Wynne
Katy Wimberly