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AAS Names Alice Shapley as Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecturer

19 Feb 2019

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Alice ShapleyWith support from the Kavli Foundation, the Vice-Presidents of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) name a special invited lecturer to kick off each semiannual AAS meeting with a presentation on recent research of great importance. At the 234th AAS meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on 10 June 2019, the Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture will be given by Alice E. Shapley, Professor and Vice-Chair for Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Shapley is a leading expert in studies of galaxy formation and evolution. Much of her work focuses on feedback processes in starburst galaxies; she also investigates stellar populations, chemical evolution, and the intergalactic medium at high redshifts, that is, at great distances and early times in the history of the universe. She has extensive experience performing imaging and spectroscopy at visible and near-infrared wavelengths using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes on the ground and in space. She is the lead author or coauthor of more than 140 peer-reviewed research papers that, in the aggregate, have been cited nearly 22,000 times.

“Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies remains one of the great challenges of modern cosmology,” says Shapley. At her Kavli lecture in St. Louis, she will consider possible answers to some of the following outstanding questions: What are the physical processes driving the formation of stars in individual galaxies? How do galaxies exchange matter and energy with their intergalactic environments? How do the impressive variety of galactic structures that we observe today assemble? How do supermassive black holes affect the evolution of their host galaxies? And how do large-scale structures of galaxies assemble across cosmic time? Shapley will also look ahead to future progress with upcoming facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the 30-meter-class extremely large telescopes (ELTs).

Shapley earned her bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics (1997) at Harvard-Radcliffe University and her doctorate in astronomy (2003) at the California Institute of Technology. After a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, and 2½ years as an assistant professor at Princeton University, she moved to UCLA’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2008 as an associate professor; she was promoted to full professor in 2013.

The AAS is delighted to honor Prof. Alice Shapley with the June 2019 Kavli Foundation Plenary Lectureship.

Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x116

James Lowenthal
AAS Vice-President
Smith College
+1 413-437-4738

Astronomer Alice E. Shapley of the University of California, Los Angeles, will give the Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture, “Key Outstanding Questions in Galaxy Formation and How to Answer Them,” at the 234th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Missouri, on 10 June 2019. Photo by Emily Winnie.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The membership (approx. 8,000) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe, which it achieves through publishing, meeting organization, education and outreach, and training and professional development.