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John Blakeslee

John Blakeslee

(Johns Hopkins University/Washington State)

John Blakeslee is an assistant professor of physics at Washington State University. His research interests include galaxy evolution and clustering, large-scale motions in the universe, dark matter, and the stellar content of galaxies.

John was born and grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, where he inherited an interest in astronomy from his mother, a talented artist.
He received a bachelor's in physics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied the properties of the rich star cluster systems that populate the halo regions of the most massive galaxies. He also worked on problems involving galaxy distances and the scale of the universe.
After his Ph.D., John had a three-year research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, using the William Keck telescopes in Hawaii and Palomar Observatory in California. He then spent a year doing research at the University of Durham in England.

John joined the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) science team at Johns Hopkins University as a research scientist in October 2000. The ACS instrument was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in March 2002. At Johns Hopkins, John worked on the data analysis pipeline for the ACS science team's Guaranteed Time Observations program. Using these data, he studied the properties and evolution of galaxies and clusters over most of the age of the universe. He joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University in August 2005. John is married to Pam Blakeslee, who has all the same degrees as him and is a also a member of the physics faculty at Washington State. They have three young, but rapidly growing, children and a pet rabbit.

John Lucey

John Lucey

(University of Durham)

After my first degree at the University of Leicester, I undertook my PhD at the University of Sussex/Royal Greenwich Observatory. My thesis was somewhat unimaginatively titled "Clusters of Galaxies in the Centaurus and Horologium-Reticulum Regions". After a post-doctoral position at Sussex/RGO, I spent three years at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney. I came to Durham as an Advanced Fellow in 1985.

My teaching duties at Durham include giving post- and undergraduate Astrophysics courses. My current duties include giving the Level-1 course User's Guide to the Night Sky and supervising the Level-3 Astrophysics Lab in which students carry out observational experiments with the department's telescopes. I am also the purveyor of fine images of Durham Cathedral.

My research interests are focussed mainly on two themes: (a) the measurement of peculiar motions of galaxies in the local universe, i.e. motions that galaxies possess in addition to their Hubble expansion; (b) the understanding of the stellar populations of early-type galaxies with particular reference to the red-sequence. This work involves extensive observations on large telescopes world-wide.

Simona Mei

Simona Mei

(University of Paris and the Paris Observatory)

At night Rome is simply beautiful. Simona started to look at the sky in her native city, where she was awarded her Laurea degree with a thesis on galaxy velocity fields and the cosmic microwave background.

Her passion for Astronomy and her future husband landed her first in Strasbourg and then at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, where she completed her Ph.D thesis measuring distances to local galaxies and studying their stellar populations.

She is now Associate Professor at the University of Paris and at the Paris Observatory and Associate Researcher at UC Berkeley and CalTech.

Her closest contact with Hubble was while she was Associate Researcher at the Johns Hopkins University as part of the ACS IDT team, one of the most enriching experiences she had in Astronomy from both the scientific and human points of view.

Her scientific interests are centered on galaxy formation and evolution, with emphasis on galaxies situated in and around galaxy clusters. She studies their distances and the evolution of their properties as a function of environment. She is part of the ACS IDT Team and of the ACS Virgo and Fornax Cluster Surveys.

When she thinks that galaxies are not big enough, she turns to studying what we can learn from galaxy cluster statistics in future (e.g. SZ) galaxy cluster surveys.


John Blakeslee's collaborators: The science team for this image release includes PI:
J. Blakeslee (Washington State University), J. Lucey and R. Smith (University of Durham), J. Tonry (University of Hawaii), and S. Mei (Johns Hopkins University).