nrao        Yancy L. Shirley      The University of Arizona





Astro Links


The Research Team

Young Min Seo is a third year graduate student working on characterizing the properties and evolution of low-mass starless cores. Young Min's first year project used a virial analysis to study the stability of starless cores with homologous inward motions and provide limits on the range of infall speeds for a given density structure (Seo, Hong, & Shirley 2013). Young Min has also observed a >3 degree section in ammonia of the prominent L1495-B218 filaments in the Taurus Molecular Cloud using the 100m Green Bank Telescope. The map contains over 18,000 spectra and provides unique information on the how starless cores evlove within larger, filamentary structures. Comparison with CCS, an "early-time" chemical tracer, have revealed sections of the filaments that are in the early stages of core accretion.
Young Min Seo

Brian Svoboda

Brian Svoboda is a second year graduate student studying the formation and evolution of high-mass protostellar regions in the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS). Brian has used water maser observations from the 100m Green Bank Telescope in combination with published infrared and radio continuum surveys to classify the evolutionary stage of clumps identified in the BGPS. Brian is studying the physical properties of sources in different evolutionary phases as well as identifying the earliest phase (starless clumps) of proto-cluster formation in the Milky Way. This survey provides the most unbiased, statistically significant sample of high-mass clumps in various evolutionary phases studied to date.

Mandy Walker-LaFollette is a senior undergraduate student (Astronomy & Physics major) that is studying infall toward starless cores in the nearby Perseus Molecular Cloud. This is the first systematic survey for the signatures of infall toward the complete core population within a single molecular cloud. Observations were obtained with the Arizona Radio Observatory 12m telescope on Kitt Peak. Mandy has identified several new infall candidates and is modeling the spectra to obtain contraints on the rate of collapse. Her poster at the Indianapolis AAS meeting recently won Honarable Mention for the Chambliss Poster Award. Mandy was a NASA Space Grant Intern and Intern Mentor (2011-2013). Mandy is the current president of the UofA Astronomy Club. She is writing up the results of her research for her Senior Thesis.
Mandy Walker-LaFollette

Coty Spence

Coty Spence is a junior at UCLA studying the deuteration of ammonia in the nearby Perseus Molecular Cloud. This study complements the systematic survey of deuteration led by Dr. Rachel Friesen toward many of the same objects (Frisen, Kirk, & Shirley 2013). The observations were obtained with the IRAM 30m telescope toward more than 120 dense cores, including starless cores and protostellar cores. Coty is a CAMPARE REU student visiting Tucson for the summer of 2013.

Yancy Shirley. I am an Assistant Professor at UofA with an Adjunct Astronomer appointment at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. My main research interests span detailed studies of nearby low-mass star formation, high-mass star formation, the interstellar medium, astrochemistry, galactic-scale star formation, and understanding fundamental global star formation laws by connecting local star formation studies with extragalactic star formation studies. My research combines radiative transfer modeling with observations at predominantly radio and infrared wavelengths using both single dish telescopes and interferometers. I will be an enthusiastic user of ALMA in the next few years! I am currently a member of the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey team and have received a large NSF grant to lead the spectroscopic followup of 6194 sources recently discovered in the Milky Way. This followup will provide the most unbiased census from which to study the structure and evolution of star formation in our Milky Way. Ultimately, what we learn about star formation locally should be applied to global scales in other galaxies. I have initiated projects with my exgal colleagues at Arizona to attempt to constrain global star formation laws through the study of dense molecular (the material out of which star actually form) in other Galaxies.
Yancy Shirley

Research Group Alumni

Dr. Wayne Schlingman

(Postdoc @ Colorado)

David Schenck

(Graduate Student @ Colorado)

Kevin Hardegree-Ullman

(Graduate Student @ Toledo)

Kamber Schwarz

(Graduate Student @ Michigan)

Amy Robertson

(Telescope Operator @ ARO)