CIERA doctoral student Michael Zevin was awarded the esteemed 2020 NASA Hubble Fellowship, and will begin working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute of University of Chicago in the fall after graduating with his PhD.
Zevin was one of 24 researchers selected for the Nasa Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP), considered one of the highlights of NASA’s pursuit of excellence in space science, enabling outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA astrophysics.
“It’s really an honor to be a part of such an amazing group of up-and-coming scientists in the field,” said Zevin, who is advised by Professor Vicky Kalogera.
Once selected, fellows are named to one of three sub-categories corresponding to three broad scientific questions NASA has sought to answer about the universe: how does the universe work (Einstein fellows), how did we get here (Hubble fellows), and are we alone (Sagan fellows)?
As a NHFP Hubble Fellow, Zevin will use detailed population modeling to explore the wide range of channels that have been proposed for forming binary black holes observed by the LIGO/Virgo network, and constrain these channels using the hundreds of gravitational-wave observations anticipated over the next few years. This will help to build a better understanding of how massive stars, which are the progenitors of black holes, lived and died. He will also investigate the galactic demographics and kinematic evolution of neutron star mergers observed via electromagnetic and/or gravitational radiation to better constrain aspects of their prior stellar evolution.
“It’s an exciting time for gravitational-wave astrophysics, as we’re really now at the point where we have a full-blown population of systems to work with. This population will help unveil unprecedented information about how massive stars evolve and the processes that lead to compact object formation.”
View the full NASA press release about the 2020 awards.