Arts & Sciences

Coyne Lecture to discuss fast radio bursts, April 15

Dr. Bryan Gaensler, dean of the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will deliver Marquette University’s annual Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. Lecture, “Fast Radio Bursts: An Enduring Cosmic Mystery,” on Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. in ballroom B of the AMU Monaghan Ballrooms.

The annual lecture is hosted by the Department of Physics in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. The lecture is open to the public and registration is not required.

Gaensler is a leading researcher internationally on astrophysical magnetism, cosmic explosions, and interstellar gas. He became dean at UC Santa Cruz in 2023. Before that, he was at the University of Toronto, where he was director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics, and the Canada Research Chair in Radio Astronomy. He also served as the Canadian Science Director for the Square Kilometre Array, as the co-chair of the Canadian Astronomy Long Range Plan 2020-2030, and as co-chair of the Toronto Initiative for Diversity and Excellence. He previously held positions at the University of Sydney, Harvard, the Smithsonian Institution, and MIT, after receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Sydney in 1999.  

Gaensler has published more than 450 research papers, and his best-selling popular astronomy book, “Extreme Cosmos,” has been translated into five languages. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a former Alfred P. Sloan fellow and Young Australian of the Year, and gave the 2001 Australia Day address to the nation. His research has been recognized by the American Astronomical Society (Pierce Prize), the Australian Academy of Science (Pawsey Medal), and the Canadian Astronomical Society (Martin Award), and his work has twice been named as one of Science Magazine’s breakthroughs of the year (2005 and 2020). 

The Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. Annual Lecture in Astronomy and Astrophysics was established in 2005 in honor of Father Coyne, former director of the Vatican Observatory. In that role, he led a team of Jesuit astronomers in conducting cutting-edge astronomical research and in developing new telescopes and other instrumentation for studying the cosmos. The lecture series honors the tradition of excellence in research exemplified by Father Coyne by bringing an outstanding astronomer or astrophysicist to the Marquette campus to give a public lecture explaining their research.