Astronomer Maria Drout awarded Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship

Maria Drout, an assistant professor in the David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics has been awarded a 2023 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in physics for her contribution to our understanding of the evolution, influence, and ultimate fate of massive stars.

Drout is also an associated faculty member at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics and a visiting scientist at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

“I was very excited when I heard that I was awarded a 2023 Sloan Fellowship,” said Drout. “This is especially the case because the last few years have been rough. As an academic, the pandemic was incredibly isolating. So it’s wonderful to have the recognition that my team’s work was noticed and appreciated.

“Of course, I have to thank all of the amazing students working in my group and my other collaborators, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Drout uses ground and space-based telescopes to study how stars change and evolve throughout their lives, and eventually die in energetic explosions. She also studies the origins of unusual transient phenomena in space.

Drout holds a Canada Research Chair in Time Domain and Multimessenger Astrophysics. She was a NASA Hubble postdoctoral fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science from 2016 to 2018.

“Maria Drout is one of Canadian astronomy’s shining stars,” says Dunlap Institute director Professor Bryan Gaensler, who nominated Drout for this award. “Genuinely new ideas are the key to advancing our understanding, and Professor Drout has brought a range of innovative new approaches to some of the most exciting areas in astronomy.”

Drout is the seventh University of Toronto astronomer to win a Sloan Fellowship, following Renée Hložek (2020), Jo Bovy (2016), Sabine Stanley (2011), Bryan Gaensler (2005), Barth Netterfield (2001), and Dick Bond (1985).