• Home
  • Rudnick, Gregory

Gregory H. Rudnick, Ph.D.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Physics and Astronomy
Director of Graduate Studies
Primary office:
2056B Malott Hall


Professional Background

2018-present: Professor, University of Kansas
2013-2018: Associate Professor, University of Kansas
2008-2013: Assistant Professor, University of Kansas
2004-2008: Leo Goldberg Postdoctoral Fellow at National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson
2001-2004: Postdoctoral Position at Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Garching


2018: Scientific visitor position  from the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany
2016: Scientific visitor position from the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany
2012-2014: Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to conduct research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany


2000-2001: Thesis research at MPIA, Heidelberg
2001: Astronomy PhD program. Steward Observatory. University of Arizona, Tucson
1996: B. Sci. in Physics with honors, Chancellor’s Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


I teach a variety of astronomy & astrophysics courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. In all of my classes I focus on inquiry-based learning, with much of the in-class time devoted to targeted and free-form discussions, individual, and group-work. Since coming to KU I have been involved in efforts, both within the department and without, to encourage the removal of lecture material from the classroom and to instead focus classroom activities on actual work that better helps students to comprehend the most difficult material.

I run a research-based outreach program at Lawrence High School. This program involves 9-15 students a year and gives them a 1-semester college-level astronomy course coupled with an authentic research activity using data from the worlds largest telescopes, both on the ground and in space.

Teaching Interests

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Introductory classes
  • Active learning
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Outreach


I am interested in studying the formation and evolution of galaxies using primarily observational techniques. Specifically, I am trying to determine how galaxies assembled their mass over cosmic time and how much the evolution of galaxies is determined by the places in which they reside as they evolve. I address these areas by using a variety of telescopes on the ground and in space to observe galaxies at multiple wavelengths and at multiple epochs. Doing so I can directly track their evolution and the dependence of that evolution on, e.g. their mass and the density of galaxies around them. Progress in these fields will give us a better idea of how our own galaxy formed and how galaxies in the local Universe today attained their present state.

Research Interests

  • Galaxies
  • Galaxy evolution
  • Astronomy
  • Observational Astronomy
  • Optical and Infrared Astronomy
  • Millimeter Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Observational Astrophysics
  • Galaxy Formation
  • Spectroscopy


I am the Director of Graduate Studies for the Physics and Astronomy Department. I have been focused on improving student retention, time to degree, and quality of graduate work. I also am particularly interested in building a departmental culture that values diversity and tolerance. Part of this is reflected in my efforts to improve our recruitment and mentorship of a diverse student body, both on the departmental and university level

Selected Publications

Diamond-Stanic, A. Coil, A. Moustakas, J. Tremonti, C. Sell, P. Mendez, A. Hickox, R. & Rudnick, G. (2016). Galaxies Probing Galaxies at High Resolution: Co-Rotating Gas Associated with a Milky Way Analog at z=0.4. Astrophysical Jounral.

Cantale, N. Jablonka, P. Courbin, F. Rudnick, G. H., Zaritsky, D. Meylan, G. Desai, V. De Lucia, G. Aragón-Salamanca, A. Poggianti, B. Finn, R. & Simard, L. (2016). Disc colours in field and cluster spiral galaxies at 0.5 ≲z ≲ 0.8. Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Haines, T. McIntosh, D. Sánchez, S. Tremonti, C. & Rudnick, G. (2015). Testing the modern merger hypothesis via the assembly of massive blue elliptical galaxies in the local Universe. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 451, 433-454. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv989

Geach, J. Hickox, R. Diamond-Stanic, A. Krips, M. Rudnick, G. Tremonti, C. Sell, P. Coil, A. & Moustakas, J. (2014). Stellar feedback as the origin of an extended molecular outflow in a starburst galaxy. Nature, 516, 68-70. DOI:10.1038/nature14012

Sell, P. Tremonti, C. Hickox, R. Diamond-Stanic, A. Moustakas, J. Coil, A. Williams, A. Rudnick, G. Robaina, A. Geach, J. Heinz, S. & Wilcots, E. (2014). Massive compact galaxies with high-velocity outflows: morphological analysis and constraints on AGN activity. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441, 3417-3443. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu636

Jaffé, Y. Aragón-Salamanca, A. Ziegler, B. Kuntschner, H. Zaritsky, D. Rudnick, G. Poggianti, B. Hoyos, C. Halliday, C. & Demarco, R. (2014). Ionized gas discs in elliptical and S0 galaxies at z 1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 440, 3491-3502. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu507

Geach, J. E., Hickox, R. C., Diamond-Stanic, A. M., Krips, M. Moustakas, J. Tremonti, C. Coli, A. L., Sell, P. H., & Rudnick, G. H. (2013). A Redline Starburst: CO(2-1) Observations of an Eddington-limited Galaxy Reveal Star Formation at its Most Extreme. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 767(1), article id. 17. DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/767/1/L17 http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013ApJ..767L.17G

Lotz, J. M., Papovich, C. Faber, S. N., Ferguson, H. C., Grogin, N. Guo, T. Kocevski, D. Koekemoer, A. M., Lee, K. S., McIntosh, D. Momcheva, I. Rudnick, G. Saintonge, A. Tran, K. V., van der Wel, A. & Wilmer, C. (2013). Caught in the Act: The Assembly of Massive Cluster Galaxies at z = 1.62. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 773, article id. 154. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013ApJ..773.154L

van der Wel, A. van der Ven, G. Maseda, M. Rix, H. W., Rudnick, G. H., Grazian, A. Finkelstein, S. L., Koo, D. C., Faber, S. M., Ferguson, H. C., Koekemoer, A. M., Grogin, N. A., & Kocevski, D. D. (2013). Discovery of a Quadruple Lens in CANDELS with a Record Lens Redshift z = 1.53. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 777, article id. L17. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013ApJ..777L.17V

Stefanon, M. Marchesini, D. Rudnick, G. H., Brammer, G. & Whitaker, K. (2013). What are the Progenitors of Compact, Massive, Quiescent Galaxies at z = 2.3? The Population of Massive Galaxies at z > 3 from NMBS and CANDELS. The Astrophysical Journal, 768(1), article id. 92. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/768/1/92 http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013ApJ..768..92S

Rudnick, G. H., Tran, K. Papovich, C. Momcheva, I. & Willmer, C. (2012). A Tale of Dwarfs and Giants: Using a z=1.62 Cluster to Understand How the Red Sequence Grew Over The Last 9.5 Billion Years. The Astrophysical Journal, 755(1), 14. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/755/1/14

Papovich, C. Bassett, R. Lotz, J. M., van der Wel, A. Tran, K. Finkelstein, S. L., Bell, E. F., Conselice, C. J., Dekel, A. Dunlop, J. S., Guo, Y. Faber, S. M., Farrah, D. Ferguson, H. C., Finkelstein, K. D., Häussler, B. Kocevski, D. D., Koekemoer, A. M., Koo, D. C., McGrath, E. J., Mclure, R. J., McIntosh, D. H., Momcheva, I. Newman, J. A., Rudnick, G. Weiner, B. Willmer, C. A., & Wuyts, S. (2012). CANDELS Observations of the Structural Properties of Cluster Galaxies at z = 1.62. The Astrophysical Journal, 750, 93.

Diamond-Stanic, A. M., Moustakas, J. Tremonti, C. A., Coil, A. L., Hickox, R. C., Robaina, A. R., Rudnick, G. H., & Sell, P. (2012). High-velocity Outflows without AGN Feedback: Eddington-limited Star Formation in Compact Massive Galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal, 755, 26.

Papovich, C. Momcheva, I. G., Willmer, C. Pierre, M. Clerc, N. Tran, K. Lotz, J. Finkelstein, K. Finkelstein, S. Rudnick, G. & McCarthy, P. (2011). CLGJ0218.3-0510: New Results On The Most Distant Spectroscopically Confirmed Cluster. (Vol. 43, pp. 149.19). In Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society.

Selected Awards & Honors

  • 2016: Recipient of the University Scholarly Achievement Award, University of Kansas. One of 5 recipients at the University.
  • 2012: Recipient of the 2012 ING Professor of Excellence Award at KU.
  • 2009: Keynote Speaker at Germanic Languages program honors ceremony at KU.
  • 2007: Co-recipient of NASA Group Achievement Award for the Spitzer Space Telescope Observing Pro- gram for Students and Teachers.