Astrophysics professor honoured with DDA's Vera Rubin Early Career Award

June 13, 2019 by A&S News

For his work on the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy, Jo Bovy, an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Galactic Astrophysics in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics in the Faculty of Arts & Science at U of T, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Vera Rubin Early Career Award.

The prize — awarded annually by the American Astronomical Society’s Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) — recognizes an early career dynamicist, who demonstrates excellence in scientific research in dynamical astronomy or closely related fields, which has had impact and influence on these fields, and shows a promise of continued excellence as demonstrated by past practice in research, teaching, and the advancement and support of the field.

Bovy earned his PhD from New York University in 2011 under the direction of D.W. Hogg, and has studied a wide range of phenomena related to the dynamics of the Milky Way. He has used stellar motions in the solar neighbourhood to constrain the local abundance of dark matter, clarified the spatial and kinematic structure of different stellar populations within the galactic disk, and developed ways to model perturbations on stellar streams. His work has therefore provided key insights into how to model large surveys of our galaxy. Bovy has also supported dynamical astronomy by developing an open-source python toolkit, galpy, that has been used for a wide variety of applications.

Bovy will give a lecture at 51st annual meeting of the DDA in Boulder, Colorado next year. The previous prize winners were Gurtina Besla of the University of Arizona and Daniel Fabrycky of the University of Chicago.

Read More: Earlier this year, Bovy was honoured with the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy. The prize is awarded annually by the American Astronomical Society in recognition of individuals who have made significant contributions to astronomy early in their careers. 

With files from the DDA.