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Katherine J Mack

DECRA Fellow, Astrophysics, The University of Melbourne

I'm a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne. My current research focuses on studies of dark matter and the evolution of the first stars and galaxies.

I have worked in several areas of cosmology, early universe theory, and particle physics, studying a wide range of phenomena from relics of the big bang to the growth of supermassive black holes. The unifying goal in all my work is to find ways to use observational cosmology to better understand the fundamental physical nature of the components and evolution of the universe.

In addition to research, I participate in a variety of science outreach activities including the University of Melbourne's Telescopes in Schools program.

I also maintain a popular-level cosmology blog called The Universe in Theory ( and you can find me on Twitter (@AstroKatie) where I occasionally share thoughts on astrophysics, science popularisation, life as a researcher in academia, and other personal musings.

(Disclaimer: Views expressed on Twitter or my blog are mine alone and not endorsed by any other person or institution.)


  • –present
    DECRA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • 2009–2012
    STFC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cambridge


  • 2009 
    Princeton University, PhD (Astrophysical Sciences)
  • 2007 
    Princeton University, Master of Arts (Astrophysical Sciences)
  • 2003 
    California Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science (Physics)

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
    Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • 2005
    Graduate Research Fellowship
    Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    National Science Foundation

Research Areas

  • Astronomical And Space Sciences (0201)
  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy (020103)
  • Particle Physics (020203)