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Publications in VIVO

Comerford, Julia M

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Professor Comerford's research focuses on galaxy evolution and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Specifically, she works on pairs of supermassive black holes that are brought together during galaxy mergers. These black hole pairs can be observable as AGNs with kiloparsec-scale separations, and they are useful as tracers of galaxy mergers and supermassive black hole growth.


  • galaxies, supermassive black holes, active galactic nuclei, galaxy evolution, galaxy mergers


selected publications


courses taught

  • ASTR 2010 - Modern Cosmology-Origin and Structure of the Universe
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Fall 2022
    Introduces modern cosmology to nonscience majors. Covers the Big Bang; the age, size, and structure of the universe; and the origin of the elements and of stars, galaxies, the solar system, and life.
  • ASTR 2030 - Black Holes
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Black holes are one of the most bizarre phenomena of nature. Students are introduced to the predicted properties of black holes, astronomical evidence for their existence and formation, and modern ideas about space, time, and gravity.
  • ASTR 3830 - Astrophysics 2 - Galactic and Extragalactic
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2024
    The second semester of a year-long introduction to astrophysical processes. The physical processes developed in ASTR 3730 are applied to topics in extragalactic astronomy, including galaxies, supermassive black holes, galaxy clusters and cosmology. Elective for APS major and minor.
  • ASTR 5720 - Galaxies
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Highlights the classification, structure, content, dynamics, and other observational properties of galaxies, active galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. Discusses Hubble's Law, the cosmic distance scale,and the intergalactic medium. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics.


International Activities