Research Interests

As a radio astronomer, I have been using occurring molecular masers to study the dynamics of gas surrounding putative black holes in nearby galaxies. These masers are bright, pointlike sources of microwave radiation arising in a trade gas constituent, water vapor. They can be tracked precisely in position and velocity with intercontinental arrays of radio telescopes operating as very long baseline interferometers. With the high angular resolution provided by these interferometers, we have been able to measure the orbital characteristics of the gas as well as the mass and location of the black hole. I am also directing the development and construction of a new telescope, an eight-element linked interferometric array, which will be the first instrument capable of arcsecond resolution in the submillimeter wavelength part of the spectrum, between conventional radio and infrared wavelengths. The instrument is being built near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii and will be used to study planetary atmospheres, star formation, quasars, dust and gas distribution in nearby galaxies, and spectral lines from highly redshifted galaxies.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 12: Astronomy

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics