Faculty Profile: Juna Kollmeier

Juna Kollmeier

Director, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Juna Kollmeier.Professor Kollmeier is the director of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), a research centre focused on the origin and evolution of the universe and other phenomena discovered by modern astronomy.

Prior to joining U of T, Kollmeier was on faculty at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. She is also the founding director of the Carnegie Theoretical Astrophysics Center and director of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys (SDSS-V). A scientist committed to public outreach and the “inalienable right to physics” for everyone, she studies how structures grow and evolve in the universe, and focuses on supermassive black holes, the Milky Way and the intergalactic medium. Her 2019 TED Talk has attracted more than 2.6 million views and — among other documentaries — she was in an episode of the series Genius by Stephen Hawking.

Kollmeier holds a bachelor of science in physics with honours from the California Institute of Technology, and a master of science and PhD in astronomy — both from The Ohio State University, where, in addition to her thesis work, she designed, built and deployed instrumentation parts for two telescopes as part of the Ohio State Astronomy Instrumentation Lab team.

She was an Institute for Advanced Study Visiting Professor in 2015-16 and a Fulbright Scholar, and received Hubble and Carnegie-Princeton Fellowships. She is a CIFAR Fellow and, most recently, has been selected the 2022 International Solvay Chair in Physics.