Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Director, Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics Yale University
PhD, Johns Hopkins University (1984)
MS, Johns Hopkins University (1979)
BS, Tufts University (1977)
Professor Meg Urry’s current research interests include co-evolution of black holes and galaxies, multi-wavelength surveys, accretion, jets, unification of active galactic nuclei, and blazars. All of her scientific research focuses on active galaxies, which host accreting supermassive black holes in their centers. She has published over 250 refereed research articles on supermassive black holes and galaxies, and was identified as a “Highly Cited Author” by Thomson Reuters. Professor Urry is President of the American Astronomical Society and a recently elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and American Women in Science; received an honorary doctorate from Tufts University; and was awarded the American Astronomical Society’s Annie Jump Cannon and George van Biesbroeck prizes. Prior to moving to Yale in 2001, Professor Urry was a senior astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which runs the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. Professor Urry is also known for her efforts to increase the number of women in the physical sciences, for which she won the 2010 Women in Space Science Award from the Adler Planetarium. Professor Urry has been active in revising the Yale physics curriculum, implementing interactive peer-learning methods in her classes and designing new courses to introduce undergraduates to current physics research. At Yale, she has supervised the research of more than a dozen graduate students and several dozen Yale undergraduates, and served as faculty advisor for another few dozen undergraduates. She built the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics from its initial complement of two astrophysicists to a lively group of approximately 15 faculty postdocs, students, and staff, as well as many more affiliated members and a steady stream of international visitors. Thanks in part to her efforts, Yale is now a partner in the Keck and Palomar telescope consortia, meaning that Yale scientists have access to the world’s finest telescopes and instrument suites. Urry gives frequent public talks on astrophysics at Yale and elsewhere, and she writes regularly for CNN.com.