Priya Natarajan, Departments of Astronomy & Physics, Yale University

Priya Natarajan, Departments of Astronomy & Physics, Yale University

Professor, Departments of Astronomy & Physics, Director Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, Yale University

Priyamvada Natarajan, astrophysicist at Yale is recognized for her seminal contributions to the study of dark matter and the formation and growth of black holes. She has proposed and worked on models for the formation of massive black hole seeds, direct collapse black holes and their observational signatures, a theory that will be tested by the James Webb Space Telescope. Recipient of many awards and honors for her work including the Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships, she also holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Chair at the University of Copenhagen, and an honorary professorship for life at the University of Delhi. A fellow of the American Physical Society, she is also currently the Chair of the Division of Astrophysics. Her work has been featured in numerous news outlets including the NPR, BBC, CNN, NOVA Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Discover, and The New Yorker. Born and raised in India, she received undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics at MIT. After graduate training at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology and Society, she obtained her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, where she was elected fellow of the Trinity College. Aside from research, she is also deeply invested in the public dissemination of science. She is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and her first book, Mapping the Heavens: Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos was published in May 2016 to great critical acclaim.