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Kem Cook

Kem Cook

(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

In Cook's first career at Stanford University he received a B.S. in Physics in 1971, worked on the enzymology of radiation damage repair in humans for his Ph.D. in 1977 and the kinetics of protein folding as a postdoctoral fellow and a senior fellow at Stanford until 1982.

In 1982, Cook entered the Astronomy Ph.D. program and began his career in astronomy at the University of Arizona. He did his thesis research on Asymptotic Giant Branch populations in nearby galaxies under the supervision of Marc Aaronson. He was a Las Campanas Fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1986 to 1989 and came to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as a postdoctoral fellow in V Division in 1989. At LLNL he was Astrophysics Center Head of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics for 8 years and Astrophysics Group Leader in V Division/Physics Division for 12 years.

Cook retired from LLNL in late 2009 to focus on astronomy and astrophysics. Cook was a founding member of the MACHO Collaboration, the TAOS Collaboration and the SuperMACHO collaboration. Cook is interested in resolved stellar populations, the distance scale, dark matter and wide-field, time-domain surveys. Cook was an early member of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Collaboration and is working to bring this wide-field, time-domain survey to fruition. His research activities include observational tests of stellar evolution, the cosmic distance scale, observational evidence for dark matter, CCD detector development, and Solar System small bodies.

Michael Gregg

Michael Gregg

University of California, Davis

Michael Gregg is a Research Astrophysicist in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Davis, but he spends most of his professional time at the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (IGPP/LLNL). Michael started his career investigating the stellar population of relatively nearby "S0" galaxies, showing that they may have evolved from spiral galaxies. This work spawned investigations of nearby galaxy clusters.

In collaboration with Michael West (European Southern Observatory), he is studying the galaxy destruction and reincarnation in various cluster environments. Most of this work depends on data from the Hubble Space Telescope. At the far end of the Universe, Michael has searched for gravitationally lensed quasars and more exotic types of active galaxies and quasars nearly buried by dust or having unusual radio-emitting properties.

Michael was born in Long Beach, California, but spent most of his childhood roaming the outdoors of Western Pennsylvania, where the skies are still dark enough to inspire appreciation of the heavens. An undergraduate double major in physics and philosophy at Haverford College, he worked for a summer with Bruce Partridge in Haverford's antique Strawbridge Observatory. This led to further astronomical studies and a Ph.D. at Yale University where he was fortunate enough to get to know the late Beatrice Tinsley while generating the idea for his dissertation. He has since lived and worked in Pasadena, Chapel Hill, and Canberra (Australia), before beginning his longer term association with U.C. Davis and IGPP/LLNL in 1993.

Lucas Macri

Lucas Macri

Texas A&M University

Lucas Macri is an Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Texas A&M University, and a member of the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy.

Lucas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He majored in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained his Ph.D. at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He was a Hubble and Goldberg fellow at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, AZ before moving to Texas A&M.

He has studied Cepheid variables in nearby spiral galaxies as part of several projects aimed at measuring the expansion rate of the Universe (the Hubble constant) with increasingly higher accuracy and precision.