Fellow: Awarded 2006
Field of Study: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Competition: US & Canada
Dennis Zaritsky's research interests span a range of topics primarily focused on extragalactic observational astronomy. Some highlights include the first measurements of dark matter masses out to the virial radii of individual galaxies, a standard reference for chemical abundance gradients in galaxies, the first spatially complete stellar census of the Magellanic Clouds to stars fainter the horizontal branch, the largest published survey of galaxy clusters at $z > 0.5$, the discovery of direct evidence for dark matter based on the study of colliding galaxy clusters, and the discovery of a unifying relationship for the structure of all galaxies.
He obtained his B.S. in Physics with Honor from the California Institute of Technology in 1986 and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1991. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Edwin P. Hubble Fellowship by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which he took to the Carnegie Observatories. Following this three year Fellowship (1991-1994), he was hired as an Assistant Professor and Assistant Astronomer at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of California Observatory. He was promoted to Associate Professor and Associate Astronomer with Tenure in 1997. In 1999 he took up a position as Associate Professor at the University of Arizona and was promoted to Full Professor in 2002.
He has received various honors including an E.F. Fullam Award from the Dudley Observatory (1993), a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (1997), an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Physics (1998), a National Science Foundation CAREER Grant (1998), and the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize of the American Astronomical Society (1999).