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Brenda Frye

Assistant Astronomer & Assistant Professor
Steward Observatory/Department of Astronomy
University of Arizona
933 N Cherry Ave
Tucson, AZ 85721

Tel: (520) 626-1857 (office)

Welcome to the homepage of Dr. Brenda Frye. She is a faculty member at the University of Arizona working in the area of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Her research aims are to understand the the process driving the assembly of galaxies and galaxy overdensities.

There are many different approaches to solving this fundamental problem. The approach that she has chosen is gravitational lensing. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, gravitational lensing by galaxy clusters, high spatial resolution studies of giant arcs, search for high redshift galaxies, and physical conditions in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of galaxies.

Cluster lensing is a powerful tool, for it allows one to: 1) boost the brightness of the sources, and 2) to study the total mass of dark plus visible matter in the lens. Lensing by galaxy clusters in particular results in spectacular cases of background galaxies being stretched, rotated, and multiply-imaged about the critical curves of the cluster. These giant arcs offer rare views into the interstellar medium of galaxies at high redshift, and such spatially-resolved studies are leading to a better understanding of the progress of galaxy evolution back to early times.

About this Astronomer

Brenda has undergraduate degrees in Physics and in Astronomy from the University of Arizona (UA). While at UA she completed her undergraduate thesis with Prof. Jill Bechtold, and was awarded the Outstanding Senior in the College of Science and in the Department of Astronomy. Brenda did her graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, studying with Prof. Jack Welch with the assistance of a Graduate Student Research Fellowship from the NSF. Following her Ph. D., she held an appointment as Research Scientist with the Supernova Cosmology Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with Prof. Saul Perlmutter. She then moved on to take the NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Princeton Council on the Sciences and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship, both Princeton University under the mentorship of Prof. Neta Bahcall. Brenda held her first faculty appointment as Lecturer in the School of Physics at Dublin City University in Ireland where she took on her first Ph. D. student (now Dr. Mairead Hurley), followed by a Tenure-track Assistant Professorship in the Department of Physics & Astronomy in the beautiful Bay Area at the University of San Franciso. She was then recruited back to her Alma Mater to take on the position of Assistant Astronomer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory.

All are very welcome to browse through this site, and there are opportunties to work with me at all levels. So if any of this research looks interesting to you please feel free to contact me.

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