Studying with the Stars


Dr. Greg Mosby-page-001

Dr. Gregory Mosby delves into astronomy’s most pressing questions.

The lead author of five abstracts found in the Space Astrophysics/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS). A contributor to seven other projects, including the Robert Stobie Spectrograph-Near Infrared (RSS-NIR) of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). An EAGLE Middle School Science Mentor Program Astronomy Mentor as well as an RSS-NIR Lab Undergraduate Mentor and Advisor.

Similar to the nebulae he studies, Dr. Gregory Mosby has derived into a gleaming and multi-faceted entity that stands out in a crowded field. He accomplished so much as a UW-Madison graduate student in the Department of Astronomy while examining galaxy evolution, star formation and stellar population analysis. Yet he still has a lot to work toward as a NASA Goddard Space Center Postdoctoral Fellow.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Physics from Yale University in 2009, Dr. Mosby was not sure where he would pursue his postgraduate endeavors. Which variables factored into his decision?

“I was choosing between two schools (the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin-Madison),” Dr. Mosby said. “On top of being the better department atmosphere match, the additional funding was a very nice incentive to choose UW-Madison.”

Dr. Mosby utilized UW-Madison’s Advanced Opportunity Funding [AOF] Fellowships for pre-dissertator status and for dissertators to finance his intellectual ambitions.

“I also believe the community support that came with the AOF the first year was crucial in helping me adjust to a new place, network, and get plugged into resources.”

Dr. Mosby collaborated with Drs. Andrew Sheinis, Marsha Wolf and Eric Hooper as advisors to obtain a Master of Science in Astronomy.

“My research focuses enabling observations to test our current models for how galaxies evolve,” Dr. Mosby said. “Strong relationships between the black holes in the centers of galaxies and global galaxy properties suggest that galaxies and their black holes might have ‘grown’ together.”

As he sought his Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy, Dr. Mosby combined with Drs. Christy Tremonti, Wolf and Hooper as advisors to define his passion for uncovering how star systems mature.

“By looking at the star formation histories of galaxies with black holes actively growing now, we can try to assess to what extent this is the case. My research has focused on improving the techniques we use to measure star formation histories of these galaxies with active black holes.”

As part of the NASA Postdoctoral Program, Dr. Mosby is now teaming with advisor Dr. Bernard Rauscher to assemble a research proposal titled Laying the Foundation to Find Life with HgCdTe Detectors.

Without the backing he received at UW-Madison, Dr. Mosby’s probe into galaxy research would not be shining as bright as it is today.

“I want thank each and every donor for their support of the UW-Madison Graduate School,” Dr. Mosby said. “It really means a lot and can change the trajectory of student careers. Once the barrier of funding is eliminated, the real work can begin.”

Visit or contact the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Funding for more information.


Author: Mike DeVine

Writer and Editor. History buff. Doing sports things. Film fan. University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate [B.A. English '06]. @UWAlumni Lifetime Member.

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