American Astronomical Society

Editor Biographies

AAS Editor in Chief

Ethan Vishniac

Ethan Vishniac
John Hopkins University, Maryland, US

@EthanVishniac

For many of you, Ethan will need no introduction. Not only is he heading up the Galaxies and Cosmology section, he is now also Editor in Chief for all AAS journals.

Ethan is a theoretical astrophysicist who conducts research on the dynamics of magnetic fields in accretion disks, stars and galaxies. He is probably best known for the study of instabilities in expanding blast waves. In 1983 he demonstrated that a blast wave expanding in a sufficiently compressible medium would be subject to a linear overstability growing as the square root of time. This is usually known as the Vishniac instability.

Frank Timmes

Frank Timmes
Arizona State University, Arizona, US

Frank has been working with the AAS journals since 2009. His research interests span many different areas, including supernovae, cosmic chemical evolution, astrobiology, gamma-ray astronomy, and high-performance computing.

In 2015 Frank was awarded the Simons Fellows Award in Theoretical Physics, and his articles are regularly among the most cited in astronomy and astrophysics.

Steve Kawaler

Steve Kawaler
Iowa State University, Iowa, US

@SteveKawaler

Our new Lead Editor on Stars and Stellar Physics usually tackles the interior structure and evolution of stars, although he has also flexed his detective muscles as part of the team that solved the mystery of the VJ Day kiss.

His research interests broadly cover the life (and demise) of stars like our Sun, although he has been particularly interested in their upheavals between departure from the main sequence and settling into their ultimate and permanent white-dwarf senescence. He has been a long-time proponent of asteroseismology, and is involved with the asteroseismic efforts of the Kepler, K2, and TESS missions. In his own words, “We’re excited about what we can learn about stars using data that the Kepler, K2, and TESS missions have and will provide in the hunt for Earth-like planets around other stars.”

Melissa McGrath

Melissa McGrath
SWRI and SETI, Huntsville, Alabama, US

@astromel

Melissa's distinguished CV includes her recent role at NASA as the Deputy Director of the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division until 2006. She then returned to Marshall, where she served as the Chief Scientist until her retirement from NASA in January 2015.

Her research expertise includes planetary and satellite atmospheres and magnetospheres, particularly imaging and spectroscopic studies of Jupiter’s Galilean satellites. She is currently a Co-investigator on the Ultraviolet Spectrometer instrument on the ESA JUICE mission to Ganymede, as well as a Co-investigator on two instruments selected for flight on NASA’s Europa Mission (UVS and MASPEX, a mass spectrometer).

Judith Pipher

Judith Pipher
University of Rochester, New York, US

Judith’s primary research is in the area of infrared astronomy and infrared-detector-array development. With Prof. William J. Forrest, she developed over a 20 year period sensitive InSb arrays for the Spitzer Space Telescope infrared array camera, launched in August 2003. Currently their group is developing longer-wavelength arrays that can be passively cooled for space missions. Her scientific emphasis has been the study of star-forming regions. Pipher was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for her work in infrared-detector-array development for astronomy. She has been a Scientific Editor of The Astrophysical Journal since 2002, and has served on the Board of Trustees of USRA – the Universities Space Research Association – since April 2011; Pipher is currently Vice-President of the Board.

Leon Golub

Leon Golub
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts, US

Leon Golub is Senior Astrophysicist in the High Energy Division at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He specializes in studies of solar and stellar magnetic activity, and has built numerous rocket and satellite instruments to study the Sun and its dynamic behavior.

He has published two books in this field, The Solar Corona and Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of our Sun, both with Jay M. Pasachoff.

Chris Lintott

Chris Lintott
Oxford University, UK

@chrislintott

Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a Research Fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team that runs the world’s most successful citizen-science projects, including Galaxy Zoo and Planet Hunters, work for which he was awarded the AAS’s Tinsley Prize. His own research focuses on problems of galaxy formation, and on resolving the data problems presented by the next generation of astronomical surveys. He is part of the “brains trust” behind the .Astronomy series of conferences, which bring together those using the web for astronomical research and outreach. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is the Co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night program and the author, with Queen guitarist Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore, of two books, both available in more than 13 languages.