Professor Sabrina Stierwalt
Assistant Professor, Physics
B.A., University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., Cornell University

Sabrina Stierwalt observes galaxies beyond our own to understand how those galaxies form and evolve and ultimately our own cosmic origins. Read her Oxy Story profile.

Dr. Sabrina Stierwalt is an extragalactic astrophysicist. She uses nearby, interacting galaxies to understand how stars and galaxies formed throughout the universe's history. She uses data from space-based telescopes like Hubble, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton, along with data from ground-based telescopes like ALMA, the VLA, and Magellan. Most recently, she was awarded a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct the first systematic study of the gas dynamics and star formation in interacting dwarf galaxies, smaller galaxies which are the building blocks of more massive ones like our Milky Way.

She also works to make science and the stars more accessible. She does this with her weekly science podcast Everyday Einstein and through a program to bring an inflatable planetarium to communities across Los Angeles that are under-represented in STEM.

If you're intersted in bringing the inflatable planetarium to your community, please send her a message!

Research Interests

Galaxy Mergers
Extragalactic Star Formation
Dwarf Galaxies

Professional Experience

2019 - present: Assistant Professor, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
2017 - 2019: Staff Scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
2015 - 2017: Staff Scientist, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, VA