Kat Barger, Associate Professor

I’m a teacher, mentor, and scientist at TCU. With a background in physics and astronomy, I teach both of these subjects. I lead a group of aspiring astronomers who explore the evolution of galaxies by tracking the gas flowing in, out, and within them. This team includes high school, undergraduate, and graduate students that are all working together. All of them are investigating how the environments of galaxies affects their star formation ability. Some of them explore gas flowing in or out of the Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds, and Andromeda. Others are exploring the physical conditions of gas within isolating and interacting galaxies and how they relate to their star-formation activities. 

 The environment that galaxies live in strongly influences their shape, overall structure, and how they grow. The ability of galaxies to obtain and retain gas strongly impacts their ability to form future stars. Through this work, my group deciphers the properties, origins, and fates of the gas surrounding and within galaxies. Armed with this information, we unravel why some galaxies are able to form stars and while others are not. By studying nearby galaxies, we provide insights on how these processes likely occur in distant galaxies where they cannot be resolved.

I’m looking for a Post Doc & Grad student to join our Team in Fall 2022

We have just been awarded a large Hubble Legacy Archive Program to explore the galactic winds of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Our project, entitled "The Large Magellanic Cloud’s Galactic Wind through the Eyes of ULLYSES”, will use Hubble Space Telescope and ground based spectroscopic observations in conjunction with radiative transfer and hydrodynamical simulations to characterize these winds in more detail than is possible for any other galaxy. Learn more about this project on my Research page and these opportunities on my Join-the-team page.