Dr. Margaret Geller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has received the 2010 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society for her lifetime of work on the distribution and clustering of galaxies in the Universe and for her notable success in describing this work to the public.
Dr. Geller will deliver the Russell Lecture at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston in May of 2011.
The highest and most prestigious honor of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship is awarded annually to an individual "on the basis of a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research." The citation reads:
"The 2010 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to Margaret Geller of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for a lifetime of work on the distribution and clustering of galaxies in the Universe and for her notable success in describing this work to the public. Her early research with John Huchra unambiguously revealed the characteristic filamentary structure with huge voids in this distribution, fundamentally changing the direction of research for a generation of astronomers. This work provided the impetus for the accurate large-scale simulations of today which are such important tools for understanding the structure itself and its connection to fundamental physics."
Laureates from previous years include James E. Gunn (2005), Wallace L.W. Sargent (2001) Alastair G.W. Cameron (1997), Vera C. Rubin (1994), and P. James E. Peebles (1993), who was Dr. Geller’s Ph.D. thesis advisor.
Dr. Geller holds a B.A. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University. She joined the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 1974. In 1990, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and in 2008 she received the American Philosophical Society’s Magellanic Premium award.
Dr. Geller’s current research projects range from the structure of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, to mapping the distribution of the mysterious, ubiquitous dark matter in the universe. She is a co-discoverer of a new class of objects--hypervelocity stars, which are ejected at high velocity from the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. Her public lectures, radio interviews, and television appearances continue to enthuse international audiences about astronomical discovery.
More information on the American Astronomical Society can be found at: http://aas.org/.
More information on Dr. Geller’s work can be found at: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~mjg/.