21 June 2019

Jo Bovy Awarded DDA's Vera Rubin Early Career Prize

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Jo BovyThe American Astronomical Society's Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) is awarding its 2019 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize to Dr. Jo Bovy, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Galactic Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Prof. Bovy earned his PhD from New York University in 2011 under the direction of David W. Hogg and has studied a wide range of phenomena related to the dynamics of the Milky Way. He has used stellar motions in the solar neighborhood to constrain the local abundance of dark matter, clarified the spatial and kinematic structure of different stellar populations within the galactic disk, and developed ways to model perturbations on stellar streams. His work has provided key insights into how to model large surveys of our galaxy. Bovy has also supported and advanced dynamical astronomy by developing an open-source Python toolkit, galpy, that has been used for a wide variety of applications.

The Vera Rubin Early Career Prize, established in 2016 and first awarded the following year, recognizes an early career dynamicist who demonstrates excellence in scientific research in dynamical astronomy or a related discipline and who shows promise of continued excellence in research, teaching, and the advancement and support of the field. The prize is named for the late Vera Rubin, who is best known for her work measuring the discrepancy between the observed rotational motions of galaxies and their predicted motion due to the gravitational forces arising from visible matter. Her observations began a lifelong quest, that now includes generations of astronomers, to better understand the invisible universe. She was not only an extraordinary scientist, but also well known for her kindness toward and encouragement of young scientists. The award comes with an honorarium, a framed certificate, and an invitation to give a prize lecture at the 51st annual meeting of the DDA in Boulder, Colorado, in 2020.

"It's a great honor to receive this award named for such a pioneer in my field," says Bovy, who earlier this year was also named recipient of the American Astronomical Society's 2019 Helen B. Warner Prize for significant early career work in observational or theoretical astronomy.

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

Sethanne Howard
Secretary, AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy
US Naval Observatory (Retired)

Seth Jacobson
Chair, AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy
Northwestern University
+1 847-491-3459

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The membership (approx. 7,500) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the American Astronomical Society 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.

The object of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) is the advancement of all aspects of dynamical astronomy, including celestial mechanics, solar system dynamics, stellar dynamics, the dynamics of the interstellar medium and galactic dynamics, and coordination of such research with other branches of science.