Feryal Özel is an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Arizona. Her research interests encompass the physics of neutron stars and black holes and the formation of galaxies in the early universe. She studies the properties of matter and radiation under the most extreme physical conditions in the cosmos to expand our understanding of physics in new realms.
As a Radcliffe fellow, Özel will develop the methods necessary to handle and analyze large data sets that will be obtained with current and future telescopes from radio to X-ray wavelengths. Her aim is to apply Doppler tomography and indirect imaging techniques to construct the first surface maps of neutron stars and high-resolution images of black-hole horizons.
A native of Istanbul, Özel received a BS from Columbia University and a PhD from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at the University of Arizona, she was a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She has received numerous awards and prizes for her research, including the Bart J. Bok Prize from the Harvard University Department of Astronomy, the Lucas Award from the San Diego Astronomy Association, and the Visiting Miller Professorship from the University of California, Berkeley. She frequently appears in TV documentaries on CNN International, the History Channel, and PBS and in scientific articles in the popular press. She has also been a spokesperson for a Louis Vuitton women's literacy campaign in the Middle East.