Rachel Bezanson


308 Allen Hall
Assistant Professor


I am an observational astronomer and am broadly interested in empirical studies of massive galaxies, both today and in the early Universe. My research relies on a variety of ground and space-based telescopes (e.g., Keck, Blanco, HST, MMT, VLT, Lick, ALMA, and Gemini telescopes).  I have been involved with a number of large galaxy surveys spanning from the local Universe to a few billion years after the Big Bang including the NMBS, 3D-HST, and OBEY surveys as well as smaller spectroscopic surveys. I am a Survey Scientist for the LEGA-C (Large Early Galaxy Astrophysics Census) ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey, which is an extraordinarily deep spectroscopic survey of ~3000 galaxies at a lookback time equal to half of the age of the Universe. Looking towards the future, I am also actively involved in planning for the Subaru PFS (Prime Focus Spectrograph) Galaxy Evolution spectroscopic survey of distant galaxies and hope to become an active user of the James Webb Space Telescope. My research aims to disentangle and interpret the morphological, structural, and dynamical evolution of massive galaxies through cosmic time. Very generally, I am interested in understanding how and when galaxies form, how star-forming galaxies turn off - or “quench” - their star-formation, and the physical processes that drive the evolution of early galaxies into the bimodal and well-behaved galaxy populations observed in the local Universe.