University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Kristen McQuinn

kmcquinn @ astro.umn.edu

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Summary of Interests
Galaxy Evolution, Resolved Stellar Populations, Starburst Galaxies

About My Work

I am a post-doctorate research associate in the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota. My research focuses on the evolution of dwarf galaxies in the nearby universe. I am currently studying different aspects of starburst events, or periods of intense star formation, in dwarf systems using multiwavelength data from the HST (optical), GALEX (ultraviolet), Spitzer (infrared), Chandra (X-ray), GBT (radio), Parkes (radio), KPNO (optical), and Bok (optical) telescopes. The goals of the project include determining the trigger mechanism of a burst, measuring the characteristics of a burst such as how long it lasts and the extent of its spatial distribution, and determining if the starbrusts are powerful enough to create outflows of gas from the galaxies. In addition, I am part of team studying a newly discovered dwarf galaxy, Leo P. Leo P is unique because, despite being a cosmologically old system, it is one of the most unevolved systems in the local universe. Thus, Leo P provides a unique probe of the different factors driving dwarf galaxy evolution.

Education

PhD in Astrophysics from the UMN, 2010
MS in Astrophysics from Boston University, 2001
MS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University, 1990