I am a Hubble Fellow in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As an observational extragalactic astronomer, I  study the formation and evolution of massive galaxies over the past eleven billion years of cosmic time. I am interested in pushing our detection of quiescent “red and dead” galaxies even earlier in time (within only a few billion years of the Big Bang itself!), as well as understanding the detailed physics of the structures and underlying stellar populations of massive galaxies. With exquisite Hubble Space Telescope imaging and spectroscopy, my collaborators and I continue to explore the rich uncharted territory of the distant universe. Our understanding of the cosmos is fundamentally tied to the study of galaxies, the birthplace of all stars and life itself.  As we reveal how galaxies are evolving from the earliest times to the present day, we are continually piecing together an intriguing timeline of the cosmos.




Recent Publications


Galaxy Structure as a Driver of the Star Formation Sequence Slope and Scatter  Whitaker, K.E., Franx, M., Bezanson, R., Brammer, G., van Dokkum, P., Kriek, M., Labbé, I., Leja, J., Momcheva, I., Nelson, E., Rigby, J., Rix, H.-W., Skelton, R., van der Wel, A., Wuyts, S., 2015, ApJL, 811, 12.


Constraining the  Low-Mass Slope of the Star Formation Sequence  Whitaker, K.E., Franx, M., Leja, J., van Dokkum, P.G., Henry, A., Skelton, R.E., Fumagalli, M., Momcheva, I., Brammer, G.B., Labbé, I., Nelson, E.J., Rigby, J.R., 2014, ApJ, 795, 104.


Resolved Star Formation on Sub-galactic Scales in a Merger at z=1.7  Whitaker, K.E., Rigby, J.R., Brammer, G.B., Gladders, M.D., Sharon, K., Teng, S.H., Wuyts, E., 2014, ApJ, 790, 143.


Image Credit: W. Sisler (bottom), G. Brammer (top)




 

KATHERINE E. WHITAKER, PHD

Department of Astronomy

University of Massachusetts Amherst

710 North Pleasant Street

Amherst, MA 01003

Office Phone: 1-413-545-2417