Edo Berger is a professor of astronomy at Harvard University. His research focuses on the associated questions of how single and binary stars end their lives, what remnants they leave behind, and what chemical elements they synthesize and disperse in the process. Most recently, he has led a large effort to identify and study the first electromagnetic counterpart ever seen in association with a gravitational wave event. Berger uses telescopes around the world and in space, spanning from radio waves to gamma rays.
During the Radcliffe fellowship, Berger is exploring the long-standing open question of how gold (and other rare elements) are created in the universe. In particular, he aims to study and demonstrate the creation of these elements in neutron star collisions detected through their gravitational wave emission, and to explore the scientific and human implications of the answer.
Berger received a BS in astrophysics from UCLA and a PhD in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology, and he was a NASA Hubble Fellow and a Carnegie-Princeton Joint Postdoctoral Fellow prior to his arrival at Harvard in 2008. He has won the Robert J. Trumpler Award for an outstanding PhD thesis, the Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching, and a Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research. Berger is the author of more than 300 scientific publications.