Gregory Sivakoff

Associate Professor, University of Alberta

I am currently an Associate Professor in the University of Alberta Department of Physics.

My primary research focuses on multi-wavelength observations of compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes). My favorite objects to study are the stellar undead (aka cataclysmic variables and X-ray binaries), white dwarfs, neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes that eat material (i.e., accrete) from a nearby donor star. I am most interested in connecting the physics of how the stellar undead eat, with the physics of material that escapes the eating process in outflows called jets and winds. This requires putting together a view using observations across the electromagnetic spectrum, often targeting objects that rapidly change with time (i.e., transient objects). Given the similar physics of accreting stellar-mass black holes and accreting super-massive black holes (aka active galactic nuclei, which include quasars and blazars).

I recently led the team that used the Very Large Array to observe the first likely identified astrophysical source of a high energy neutrino well outside the Milky Way, TXS 0506+056. TXS 0506+056 is a galaxy that contains a supermassive black hole that is shooting a jet of particles traveling near the speed of light (and photons) nearly directly at our Solar System. Our team joined thirteen others to announce this discovery.

Experience

  • 2017–present
    Associate Professor, University of Alberta
  • 2011–2017
    Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
  • 2008–2011
    (Postdoctoral) Research Associate, University of Virginia
  • 2006–2008
    Postdoctoral Researcher, The Ohio State University
  • 2001–2006
    Fellowship Supported Graduate Student, University of Virginia
  • 2000–2001
    Fulbright Scholar, Fulbright US/UK Commission : University of Manchester

Education

  • 2006 
    University of Virginia, Ph.D. (Astronomy)
  • 2003 
    University of Virginia, M.Sc. (Astronomy)
  • 2001 
    University of Manchester, M.Sc. (Radio Astronomy)
  • 2000 
    Brandeis University, B.Sc. with Highest Honors (Physics)

Professional Memberships

  • Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)
  • Canadian Association of Physics (CAP)
  • American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • American Astronomical Society: High Energy Division (AAS: HEAD)