Andrea Kunder

Saint Martin’s University

Associate Professor, Physics

There is no doubt that the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will be a major player in the future of astronomy, a foundation and launching point for studying the structure and evolution of the universe and the objects in it. I am interested in any aspect of LSST pertaining to stellar populations. I realize that being familiar with the possibilities and capabilities of LSST will be necessary to be at the forefront of my research field, and am eager to get experience in scientific endeavors to learn more about maximizing LSST photometry.

My research focuses mainly on old stellar populations in the Milky Way Galaxy, especially the Galactic bulge and Milky Way globular clusters. I couple the dynamics of stars with their photometry to find stellar orbits, moving groups, and constrain formation models. I use stellar evolution models to constrain the ages, distances, and reddening of stellar populations. I am an expert in utilizing RR Lyrae stars, pulsating horizontal branch stars, to study the 3D structure of the systems in which RR Lyrae stars reside.

I have been working with the Blanco DECam Bulge Survey (BDBS), a precursor LSST survey of the Galactic bulge, to search for extra-tidal remnants around inner Galaxy Globular Clusters to further characterize clusters in the inner Galaxy with the deeper, homogenous BDBS photometry, and to understand the red clump stars in the bulge using LSST passbands. I would like to use LSST to trace out the oldest structures in the inner Galaxy in order to constrain formation models of the Milky Way.

I am bilingual (English / German). Having lived in Tanzania, Kenya, the USA, Germany, Papua New Guinea, and Chile, I have a global perspective and a lot of respect for different traditions, ideals, and cultures. I also have experience having a family abroad and making international moves with children.

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