UT Austin High Redshift Research Group

The University of Texas at Austin

Research Group Members

Click here for publications from our research group.

Dr. Micaela Bagley
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Micaela joined UT in 2018, after receiving her PhD from the Universiy of Minnesota. At UT Austin, Dr. Bagley plays key roles in several JWST programs, including leading the NIRCam team within the CEERS survey. She is also the PI of two JWST Cycle 1 programs, and is leading multiple projects on high-redshift galaxy identification and luminosity functions.

Dr. Gene Leung
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Gene joined UT in 2020, after receiving his PhD from UC San Diego. Dr. Leung is deeply involved in the HETDEX survey, using imaging data in the SHELA field to study Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies at z~2-3.5. He also plays a leading role in our undergraduate vertically integrated projects group, serving as the lead senior mentor.

Rebecca Larson
6th year graduate student
Rebecca has performed multiple projects analyzing deep spectroscopy to search for Lyman-alpha emission deep in the epoch of reionization. Her most recent project explored how to improve the reduction of Keck MOSFIRE data to search for extremely faint emission lines, culminating in the discovery of a new z=8.665 Lyman-alpha emission line which we believe is tracing an ionized bubble early in the epoch of reionization.

Adam McCarron
3rd year graduate student
Adam came to UT from Penn State, and is currently completing his first project, studying the stellar populations of Lyman alpha emitters discovered by the HETDEX survey in the GOODS-N field.

Katie Chworowsky
2nd year graduate student
Katie joined UT from the University of Minnesota. Her project centers around searching for distant quiescent galaxies. In the first phase of this project, she is developing a new redshift-luminosity prior to minimize contamination in these hard-to-craft galaxy samples.

Oscar Chavez Ortiz
2nd year graduate student
Oscar moved to UT from Berkeley. He is working on HET/VIRUS spectroscopic data in the North Ecliptic Pole field, which will soon receive deep imaging from the Euclid space telescope. His goal is to study how the physical properties of LAEs in this field correlate with their Lyman-alpha emission.

Alexa Morales
1st year graduate student
Alexa came to UT from Florida International University, and her first project is to measure the UV spectral slopes from galaxies at z=2-8 in the CANDELS survey.

Undergraduate Students

We work with a large number of undergraduates through our Verically Integrated Projects program. Our team's website is under development, check back soon for details!

Group Alumni


Dr. Isak Wold
Postdoc 2014-2018--> NASA Prize Postdoc at Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Rachael Livermore
Postdoc 2013-2017--> ARC Research Fellow, Melbourne

Graduate Students

Dr. Intae Jung
PhD 2019 --> NASA Prize Postdoc at Goddard Space Flight Center
Dissertation: "Constraining the end of reionization with Lyman-alpha spectroscopy"

Dr. Matt Stevans
PhD 2019 --> Austin-area industy
Dissertation: "Investigating the stellar mass growth and quiescence of massive galaxies In the early universe using wide-field imaging"

Dr. Jason Jaacks
PhD 2018 --> Data science industy
Dissertation: "The birth of cosmic complexity"

Dr. Mimi Song
PhD 2016 --> NASA Prize Postdoc at Goddard Space Flight Center
Dissertation: "Tracing Galaxy Growth and Lyman-alpha Emission in the Early Universe"

Undergraduate Students

Isaac Laseter
Undergraduate Student 2017-2020 --> PhD program at UW Madison
Sofia Rojas
Undergraduate Student 2015-2019 --> PhD program at MPIA Heidelberg