Eve Ostriker is an astrophysicist known for her contributions to the theory of star formation and the interstellar medium (ISM). She is particularly recognized for her work on the many roles of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the ISM, and on the co-regulation of star formation and ISM properties arising from energetic stellar feedback (including radiation, winds, supernovae, and cosmic rays). Ostriker was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up in Princeton, NJ. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1987, and her doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993, both in Physics, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Starting in 1996, she was on the Astronomy Department faculty at the University of Maryland for 16 years. In 2012, Ostriker joined the faculty of Princeton University, where she is the Lyman Spitzer, Jr., Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, and currently Associate Chair of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. Ostriker was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2009-2010, and was named a Simons Investigator in Astrophysics in 2017. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 2020) and the National Academy of Science (elected 2022).

Research Interests

Eve Ostriker's research is in the area of theoretical and computational astrophysics, with primary scientific interests in the initiation and control of star formation; the dynamics, thermodynamics, and chemistry of the magnetized interstellar medium (ISM); and the structure and evolution of spiral galaxies. A major focus throughout her career has been on interstellar turbulence, characterizing turbulent excitation through stellar feedback and instabilities of various forms (involving gravity, galactic rotation, velocity shear, magnetic fields, stellar radiation and winds, supernova blasts, and cosmic rays); and on the effects of turbulence in structuring the ISM, supporting against gravity, inducing mixing, transferring angular momentum, and mediating cosmic ray transport. Ostriker and her group are active in the development of accurate and efficient numerical methods and tools for computational fluid dynamics, including radiation and cosmic ray transport. These tools are used in modeling the ISM and star formation over a wide range of scales. A major focus is on the role of the energy returned by young, massive stars to their environments, which is crucial to co-regulating ISM properties and the rate and efficiency of star formation -- from the scale of individual protostellar cores, to giant molecular clouds, to the disk of the Milky Way and other spiral galaxies, to the Universe over cosmic time.

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Primary Section

Section 12: Astronomy

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics