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Current Jansky Fellows

by Davis Murphy last modified Sep 27, 2017 by Jessica Utley


Kazunori Akiyama, a Jansky Fellow at the MIT Haystack Observatory, completed his PhD from the University of Tokyo under the supervision of Mareki Honma and was previously a JSPS fellow at the Haystack Observatory. Kazunori has studied the immediate environment of supermassive black holes in our Galactic center Sagittarius A* and Messier 87 with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Kazunori is developing new EHT imaging algorithms to create the first images of black holes. 

Kunal Mooley will be a Jansky Fellow with a joint appointment at NRAO in Socorro and Caltech.  During his PhD, Kunal worked on transient surveys with the VLA, and after receiving his degree in May 2015, he went to Oxford as a Hintze Research Fellow to expand his transient program using other telescopes like the AMI and GMRT. Kunal has expertise in the study of Galactic and extragalactic transients, execution of radio surveys, and with rapid multiwavelength follow up observations. With his Jansky Fellowship, Kunal will leverage the VLASS to study hidden explosions, and the JAGWAR program on the VLA to search for the radio afterglows of neutron star mergers.

Nithyanandan Thyagarajan, a Jansky fellow at NRAO in Socorro received his PhD from Columbia University working with Prof. David Helfand on identifying and characterizing one of the largest compilations of radio transients to date from the VLA FIRST survey. His current research focuses on characterizing the various factors that determine the sensitivity of low frequency cosmology experiments such as the detection of redshifted neutral Hydrogen from the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) using. At NRAO, he will contribute to designing instruments and experiments for a first successful EoR detection and also implementing a novel radio interferometry architecture that has the efficiency and versatility to image and process data from hundreds to thousands of receiving elements while simultaneously addressing the challenges of computational cost and data throughput faced by large arrays of next-generation radio telescopes.


Adam Ginsburg, a Jansky Fellow at NRAO in Socorro, received his PhD from the University of Colorado, working with John Bally on the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey.  His research is focused on millimeter and radio observations of high-mass stars forming within high-mass clusters and on using molecular lines as probes of physical conditions in dense gas.  He has experience using Arecibo, the GBT, the JVLA, and ALMA. 

Laura Fissel, a Jansky Fellow at NRAO in Charlottesville, completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and was previously a CIERA Fellow at Northwestern University.  Laura studies the magnetic field of our galaxy, in particular, the role that magnetic fields play in the process of star formation.  She also works on development of balloon-borne telescopes, which operate above most of the Earth’s atmosphere and can be used to make incredibly detailed maps of magnetic fields in our galaxy.

Jackie Villadsen, a Jansky Fellow at NRAO in Charlottesville, completed her PhD at Caltech in 2016.  She uses radio spectroscopy of stellar flares to search for extrasolar space weather events such as coronal mass ejections and stellar aurorae.  She uses the VLA and VLBA and has worked on a team developing the Starburst Project, a stellar radio burst spectroscopy facility at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory.



Tanmoy Laskar, a Jansky fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, received his PhD from Harvard University, working with Professor Edo Berger on the diversity and versatility of γ-ray bursts. He is an expert at multi-wavelength observations and modeling, as well as radio instrumentation, and studies time-domain astrophysics with a focus on energetic transients.

Dustin Madison, a Jansky Fellow at NRAO in Charlottesville, completed his PhD at Cornell University with Professor Jim Cordes. Dustin works with pulsar timing observations to detect and characterize gravitational waves from sources such as binary supermassive black holes. His work has been primarily as a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), a group utilizing the high-precision pulsar timing capabilities of the 300-m Arecibo Observatory and the 100-m NRAO Green Bank Telescope.