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W. Niel Brandt

Eberly Family Chair Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Professor of Physics
Niel Brandt.


Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics; Professor of Physics


Brief Research Statement

My research focuses on observational studies of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and cosmic surveys. Specific objects investigated include actively accreting SMBHs (i.e., active galactic nuclei: AGNs), dormant SMBHs, starburst and normal galaxies, and transients. Observations utilized are from facilities at the forefront of astrophysical discovery, including the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR satellites and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I soon plan to work on data from new X-ray missions, the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and the MOONS spectrograph on the VLT. Ultimately, my research aims to understand the physics, demographics, and ecology of SMBHs across all of cosmic time.

Please see my personal website for more information.


Primary Research Interests

  • Deep cosmic multiwavelength surveys
  • The growth of supermassive black holes over cosmic time
  • Black-hole vs. galaxy connections
  • Supermassive black-hole winds and feedback into galaxies
  • Sample-based studies of active galactic nuclei
  • Extreme active galactic nuclei as tools
  • X-ray astronomy and high-energy astrophysics



Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 1996

B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1992