Scientific Staff

NOAO scientific staff, location, scientific interests, and functional duties. Personal web sites can be accessed by clicking on the scientist’s name. The NOAO South Staff are listed below, and as a group here.

Phone numbers and email addresses for all employees are available in the NOAO Phone List Search.


NOAO Science Staff
Name Rank Scientific Interests Functional Responsibilities Location
Timothy Abbott (Tim)

Observatory Scientist

Variability studies; late stages of binary stellar evolution; Optical and IR observing systems: telescopes, instrumentation; operations Blanco Telescope Scientist, ACTR chair, DECam team support member La Serena
Helmut Abt Astronomer Emeritus Double stars; stellar rotation; stellar characteristics; publication practices in astronomy

Adjunct Professor, Nat. Ast. Obs. China

Lori Allen Senior Scientist Star and planet formation; galactic structure; near-Earth objects; infrared instrumentation Director of NOIRLab's Mid-Scale Obervatories Tucson
Emma Beasor Postdoctoral Research Associate massive star evolution, cool supergiant mass-loss, supernova progenitors Hubble Fellow Tucson
Adam S. Bolton Senior Scientist Observational cosmology; galaxies and dark matter; gravitational lensing; spectroscopic surveys; data mining, algorithms, and statistics Director for NOIRLab's Community Science and Data Center Tucson
César Briceño Scientist Star formation, young stars Telescope Scientist SOAR; SAM support. La Serena
Regis Cartier Research Associate Supernovae, cosmology using SNe Ia, AGN variability, time-domain astronomy, observational techniques and surveys SOAR support astronomer, Goodman and triple-spec support teams, outreach La Serena
Arjun Dey Astronomer Observational cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution, active galactic nuclei, Milky Way structure and evolution, astronomical surveys NOAO Project Scientist for DESI, DESI Observing Operations Manager Tucson
Mark Dickinson Astronomer Galaxy formation and evolution; high redshift galaxies; active galactic nuclei U.S. ELT Program Scientist Tucson
Jay Elias Astronomer Instrumentation (especially infrared); transient phenomena; observatory operations SOAR Director Tucson
Mark Everett Assistant Scientist Exoplanet and host star characterization; stellar multiplicity; stellar variability; time domain studies Observer and operations support for WIYN Tucson
Katy Garmany

Emeritus Scientist

Massive star formation and evolution; formal and informal astronomy education, with particular emphasis on outreach to the Tohono O'odham nation, the Native nation where Kitt Peak is located Tohono O'odham relations; NOAO press releases Tucson
Stephen Heathcote (Steve) Astronomer Young Stellar Objects, Herbig-Haro outflows NOAO Associate Director for NOAO South (including Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory) La Serena
Kenneth Hinkle (Ken) Scientist Circumstellar and interstellar matter; molecular spectroscopy; peculiar stars; instrumentation
US NGO, Gemini user support (Archive, AO, IR instruments);  Instrument scientist (Phoenix)
Richard Joyce (Dick) Scientist Late-type stars; mass loss; infrared detector and instrumentation development Mayall 4-m Telescope scientist, Instrument scientist (WHIRC), NOAO-DESI Scientist, Member WIYN Science Steering Committee (SSC) Tucson
Stephanie Juneau Associate Astronomer Galaxy evolution; supermassive black holes; active galaxies Data Lab Project Scientist; Data Lab Science Team Lead Tucson
Thomas Kinman (Tom) Astronomer Emeritus Galactic structure; galactic halo; horizontal branch stars   Tucson
Tod Lauer Astronomer Large-scale structure of the Universe; distance scale; structure of galaxies; super massive black holes; stellar populations; planetary science; image processing algorithms NOAO survey program liaison; NOAO survey data products; NOAO science highlights; US. extremely large telescope program Tucson
Chien-Hsiu Lee Assistant Scientist Time-domain studies, gravitational lensing, exoplanets CSDC, ANTARES alert broker Tucson
Dan Li Assistant Scientist Circumstellar disks, polarimetry, asteroids, instrumentation WIYN Support Scientist Tucson
Roger Lynds Astronomer Emeritus Star and galaxy formation; products of galaxy interaction in the recent and early Universe   Tucson
Clara Martinez-Vazquez Postdoctoral Research Associate Resolved stellar populations; nearby dwarf galaxies; RR Lyrae and Cepheid variable stars; distance scale DECam support astronomer, CTIO colloquium convenor Tucson
Thomas Matheson Astronomer Supernovae; novae; gamma-ray bursts; time-domain astronomy; cosmology Head of Time-Domain Services, ANTARES project Tucson
Aaron Meisner Research Associate Wide-area optical/infrared surveys, rare object searches, citizen science, large data sets Hubble Fellow Tucson
Joan Najita  Astronomer Star and planet formation; protoplanetary disks; astrochemistry; astrobiology; debris disks; exoplanets and substellar objects; Galactic structure; infrared spectroscopy; wide-field surveys; highly multiplexed spectroscopy NOAO Chief Scientist; NOAO Press Officer; e-newsletter Currents editor; science-based strategic planning; academic affairs Tucson
David Nidever Associate Scientist Galaxy formation and evolution; galactic chemical evolution; galactic structure; Magellanic Clouds; stellar populations; large photometric and spectroscopic surveys; software pipelines Survey Data Scientist Tucson from Bozeman
Robert Nikutta Associate Scientist AGN tori & central engine (IR & X-ray & sub-mm), surveys & catalogs (WISE, SDSS), Bayesian & advanced statistics, variability of AGN, IR interferometry, dust radiative transfer in clumpy media, software development, modeling & SED fitting, big data, HPC in astronomy, visualization Survey Data Scientist Tucson
Dara Norman Associate Scientist Gravitational lensing; large scale structure; quasars NOAO Diversity Co-Advocate, Gemini user support (GMOS) (also assigned NDO, see above) Tucson
Knut Olsen Associate Astronomer Stellar populations; galaxy formation and evolution; interaction of stars with the ISM Data Lab Program Head; Data Lab Product Team Lead Tucson
Sean Points Scientist Interstellar Medium (ISM); Magellanic Clouds; supernova remnants, evolved stars; instrumentation Instrument Scientist: SOI, Goodman Spectrograph, COSMOS, and ARCoIRIS; Blanco Scheduler La Serena
Stephen Pompea (Steve) Observatory Scientist Inquiry- and research-based science education; astronomical instrumentation EPO Head, Manager Of Science Education, Public Information Officer Tucson
Ronald Probst (Ron) Scientist Emeritus Star-forming regions; low-mass stars; infrared imaging instrumentation   Tucson
Jayadev Rajagopal Scientist Circumstellar dust, debris disks; high angular resolution techniques in optical/infrared; atmospheric turbulence Head, WIYN Operations Tucson
Stephen Ridgway (Steve)


 Variability, transients and temporal sky surveys Data Lab Time Domain Scientist, Optical Interferometry Community Liaison, Co-Diversity Advocate Tucson
Susan Ridgway Associate Scientist Quasar host galaxies Gemini user support (NIRI, GMOS) Tucson
Abhijit Saha (Abi) Astronomer Variable stars; stellar populations; cosmological distance scale; imaging and photometry Time domain scientist, ANTARES project; Chair, Promotions and Tenure Committee; WIYN Board member;  member Gemini Science & Technology Advisory Committee. Tucson
Malcolm Smith Astronomer Emeritus Global environmental impact of light pollution; the early Universe; quasars/active galactic nuclei Site protection, EPO La Serena
Verne Smith Astronomer High-resolution spectroscopy; cosmochemistry; nuclear astrophysics; chemical evolution; stellar populations; stellar atmospheres; stellar evolution
Chair of the NOAO Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC); President of the WIYN Observatory Board of Directors
Monika Soraisam Research Associate Novae, variable stars, Type Ia supernova progenitors, stellar population of M31 Postdoctoral researcher Tucson
David Sprayberry Senior Scientist Instrumentation and observing techniques; galaxy formation and evolution; statistical analysis of galaxy populations, especially dwarf and low surface brightness galaxies Manager of NN-ETS; Project Manager for NOAO-DESI Tucson
Letizia Stanghellini Astronomer Stellar structure and evolution; Galactic and extragalactic planetary  Head, US National Gemini Office  Tucson
Stephen Strom (Steve) Astronomer Emeritus Formation and evolution of planetary systems; origin of stellar angular moment   Tucson
Andrei Tokovinin Astronomer Statistics and formation of binary and multiple stars; adaptive optics; site testing Instrument scientist(1.5-m echelle), project scientist (SOAR Adaptive Optics Module) La Serena
Francisco Valdes (Frank) Scientist Asteroids; cosmology; gravitational lensing; stellar spectroscopy; astronomical software
Calibration pipelines; archiving; scientific aplications development
Nicole van der Bliek Scientist Instrumentation; young stars and cool stars NOAO South Deputy Director La Serena
Katherina Vivas Associate Astronomer

Stellar populations in the Milky Way and its satellites; variable stars; galactic structure

CTIO Support Astronomer, DECam support team member La Serena
Alistair Walker Astronomer Stellar populations; the Magellanic Clouds; the distance scale; astronomical instrumentation and detectors DECam Instrument Scientist, Leader of Optical Imagers Support Team, Member of the NOAO Promotion and Tenure Committee, Member of CTIO Advisory Committee on Technical Resources (ACTR)  La Serena
Constance Walker (Connie) Scientist Inquiry- and research-based science education; submillimeter-wave spectroscopy of star formation in galaxies at different epochs Dark skies awareness, informal science programs Tucson
Benjamin A. Weaver Associate Scientist Galaxy properties, large-scale structure, astronomical "big data", Python in astronomy. Data management, transfer and archiving for Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). Development of user interfaces, visualization and utilities for spectroscopic data. Tucson
Sidney Wolff Astronomer Emeritus Star formation; stellar rotation President, LSST Corporation Tucson
Alfredo Zenteno Assistant Scientist Observational Cosmology DECam/Blanco Support La Serena


Last updated or reviewed August 27, 2020.