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New Postdoctoral Fellows

Niall Deacon

Niall Deacon received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2007. He is part of the research group led by Michael Liu that specializes in mining astronomical surveys (primarily the Pan-STARRS survey) for faint nearby stars. His main research interests include brown dwarfs (failed stars) and cool white dwarfs, which is what all but the most massive stars become at the end of their lives.

Heather Flewelling

Heather Flewelling (PhD, University of Michigan, 2009) and Christopher Waters (Michigan State University, 2007) are both Pan-STARRS PS1 Science Consortium Postdoctoral Researchers, which means they participate in the Pan-STARRS survey with the PS1 telescope. She studies gamma-ray bursts (short, intense explosions of gamma-ray radiation in distant galaxies). He focuses on the dynamics of globular clusters, which are spherical groups of old stars in the halo of a galaxy.

A. Kellerer

Aglaé Kellerer (Paris University, 2007) joined the Adaptive Optics Group at IfA Hilo last September. Her research currently centers on curvature adaptive optics (AO) systems, which were developed at IfA in the 1990s by a team led by François Roddier to negate the effects of atmospheric turbulence on astronomical observations. The AO group has built two 85-channel curvature adaptive optic systems, and they continue to optimize the technique for the next generations of AO systems. Her thesis work, carried out at the European Southern Observatory in Germany, was concerned with the detrimental effects of atmospheric turbulence.

Adam Kraus is a Hubble Fellow who studies star and planet formation, extrasolar planets, and stellar astrophysics. He received his PhD in astrophysics in 2009 from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked with Lynne Hillenbrand. While at the IfA, Adam is studying the large-scale structure and motions of star-forming regions, searching for planetary companions to young stars, and measuring the fundamental properties (masses and radii) of low-mass stars. He should not be confused with any other A. Kraus who works in astronomy, nor should he be mistaken for the person who played left guard for the University of Michigan.

J. Pandian

Jagadheep Pandian is the new Submillimeter Postdoctoral Fellow. After receiving his PhD from Cornell University in 2007, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. He studies the formation of massive stars and 6.7 GHz methanol masers, which are the microwave equivalent of lasers, occur naturally in interstellar space, are very bright, and are signposts of massive star formation. His achievements include building a low-noise broadband receiver for the 305-meter Arecibo radio telescope and then using it to discover 48 previously unknown methanol masers. He enjoys stargazing, including bringing astronomy to the community by participating in public star parties.

Three new Astrobiology Postdoctoral Fellows have joined the IfA in recent months:

Alberto Robador (University of Bremen, Germany, 2009) is a microbiologist who studies the effect of the environment on microbial populations in marine habitats. While in Hawai`i, he is investigating the functional response of microorganisms to temperature and pressure changes beyond the continental shelf in naturally occurring energy-limiting environments, such as in the basaltic crust.

Gal Sarid

Gal Sarid (Tel Aviv University, 2009) joined the IfA to work with Karen Meech and the NAI team and to continue his studies of the thermal, structural, and dynamical evolution of icy objects in the solar system. These objects can be as close to us as the newly discovered main-belt comets and as far as the obscured Kuiper Belt objects. He worked with Meech and postdoctoral fellow Jana Pittachová on a three-dimensional model of Comet Tempel 1 prior to its collision with the Deep Impact spacecraft in 2005. Back in Israel, he was involved with the Tel Aviv University Astronomy Club, a voluntary outreach activity organized solely by graduate students, to educate the general public about astronomy, physics, and science in general.

Bin Yang

Bin Yang (UH, 2009) studies small bodies in the solar system, including main-belt comets and Trojan asteroids, using optical and infrared spectroscopy. Born and raised in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in southwest China, she studied astronomy at Beijing Normal University, and then received her master's degree from the National Astronomical Observatories in Beijing before coming to Hawai`i to study for a PhD. When she is not studying the heavens, she enjoys badminton, tennis, and table tennis, hiking and swimming, and going to the movies.