Fellow: Awarded 2013
Field of Study: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Competition: US & Canada
Ann Zabludoff is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. A Pennsylvania native, she obtained S.B. degrees in Physics (1986) and in Mathematics (1987) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1993. She spent her postdoctoral years first as a Carnegie Fellow (1993–1996) at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution in Pasadena, California, and then as an Edwin P. Hubble Fellow (1996–1999) at UC Santa Cruz. In 1999, she joined the Arizona faculty.
Her research is broadly distributed over extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. She has worked on the first generation of stars, the formation of massive galaxies, galaxy transformation via collisions, gravitational lensing, the dark matter distribution in galaxies, the intergalactic medium, the origin of galactic nuclear activity, the spectral classification of galaxies, the baryon budget of the Universe, and the evolution of the largest structures. Her scientific firsts include uncovering the role of poor groups of galaxies in driving galaxy evolution in richer clusters (now called "preprocessing"), helping to develop a framework to calculate the effects of multiple gravitational lensing planes, identifying Lyman-alpha emitting nebulae at high redshift as the likely precursors of rich clusters of galaxies today, isolating the details of merger-induced transitions of galaxies from gas-rich, star-forming disks to gas-poor, quiescent spheroids, and tracking down nearly all of the expected baryons in massive groups and clusters of galaxies.
With the freedom afforded by the Guggenheim Fellowship, she will study what kinds of gravitational lenses are best at magnifying the faint light of the earliest galaxies, making possible their detection.
Professor Zabludoff is the Caroline Herschel Distinguished Visitor at the Space Telescope Science Institute (2011–2013) and has been an invited summer visitor at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie, Carnegie Observatories, the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at New York University, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at UC Santa Barbara, and the Aspen Center for Physics. Over forty institutes and universities around the world have asked her to present colloquia. She has given review talks at more than twenty-five international conferences on a wide range of topics.
She has held various leadership positions, serving on committees that advise the NSF, NASA, and international research institutes on programs, facilities, and postdoctoral fellowships. Her favorite professional responsibility is working with and mentoring junior scientists, including the four graduate students, one undergraduate, and three postdoctoral collaborators in her current (2013) research group. Of its sixteen former members, seven are now professors of astronomy or physics, two are observatory staff scientists, five are postdoctoral researchers, and two are in private industry.