Priyamvada Natarajan named American Astronomical Society fellow


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Indian American theoretical astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan has been elected a fellow of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). She is recognized for her seminal research on the nature of dark matter and black hole physics.

“I am delighted and honored to be recognized by my peers, which is super special,” Natarajan said. “I am so grateful and thrilled for the reactions I’ve had to my research work, and accolades such as this are a wonderful icing on the cake.”

Natarajan is among 21 fellows chosen this year for extraordinary achievement and service. She was named “for seminal contributions to our understanding of the nature of dark matter and black hole physics, and for the development of a brand-new framework that enables mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter on small scales within galaxy clusters using gravitational lensing.”

She was born in Coimbatore and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. Natarajan is a professor in the departments of astronomy and physics at Yale University. She is noted for her work in mapping dark matter and dark energy, particularly with her work in gravitational lensing, and in models describing the assembly and accretion histories of supermassive black holes.

She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is the recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships.

The AAS Fellows program was established in 2019 to recognize AAS members for their contributions toward the Society’s mission of enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe. Fellows may be cited for original research and publication, innovative contributions to astronomical techniques or instrumentation, significant contributions to education and public outreach, and noteworthy service to astronomy and to the Society itself.

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