ITC Welcomes New 2016 Postdocs

September 1, 2016

 The ITC welcomes six new postdocs in Fall 2016.  In joining the ITC, the new fellowshad to give up on offers from prestigious institutions such as Carnegie, IAS-Princeton and UC Berkeley. Our recruitment success rate was 86% (6 out of 7), and yielded candidates of exceptional quality and gender diversity (50% women). Our special thanks go to the ITC postdoc selection committee, chaired by Lars Hernquist, and including the members Blakesley Burkhart, Charlie Conroy, Benedikt Diemer, James Guillochon, Jill Naiman ,Karin Oberg, Annalisa Pillepich, Kate Rubin and myself. Please join me in welcoming the above list of brilliant young scientists to the ITC corridor.


Ana Bonaca is an ITC Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She studies how the tidal field of the Milky Way galaxy disrupts globular clusters, and what the resulting debris can tell us about the underlying distribution of dark matter. In her work, she uses data from large photometric surveys, as well as high-resolution  numerical simulations. Ana received her PhD in Astronomy from Yale  University in 2016.


Daniel D’Orazio received a B.Sc. in physics and mathematics from Juniata College after which he moved to the University of Zurich on a Fulbright Fellowship, working on the dynamics of the Galactic-center stars. He was an NSF graduate research fellow at Columbia University where he earned his PhD in 2016 before becoming a NASA Einstein postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Theory and Computation. His work focuses on the astrophysics of black holes.


John Forbes is an ITC fellow at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz where his  primary advisor was Mark Krumholz.  His research has recently focused on galaxy evolution from a theoretical perspective. He primarily uses the Enzo adaptive mesh refinement code to run simulations of isolated galaxies. He has also written a freely available 1D code which evolves galactic disks over cosmological times: GIDGET.

Michael Johnson is an Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), primarily working on the Event Horizon Telescope. He studies the most compact objects in the universe – neutron stars and black holes – primarily through imaging at extreme resolutions. Over the past three years, he has  pursued direct observations of magnetic fields and orbital dynamics near a black hole through Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Previously, his graduate research imaged pulsar emission regions, utilizing scattering in the ionized interstellar medium as an enormous cosmic “lens.” Connections between these disparate studies have also led to critical and surprising realizations for Earth-space VLBI with RadioAstron and for imaging black holes with the EHT. See my research page for more details on these projects. 

Michael  received his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Southern California in 2007 and completed his PhD in the spring of 2013 working with Carl Gwinn.


Laura Kreidberg is a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows and an ITC Fellow in the Harvard Astronomy Department , where she works on characterizing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. Here website is


Caroline Morley is a Sagan Fellow and ITC Fellow, researching the atmospheres of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. She received her PhD from University of California, Santa Cruz.