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D.J. Pisano

West Virginia University

Department of Physics & Astronomy

G65 White Hall

135 Willey St.

P.O. Box 6315

Morgantown, WV 26506


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I am an associate professor in the Physics & Astronomy department here at WVU and an adjunct assistant astronomer at the NRAO. I arrived here in January 2009 from the NRAO in Green Bank, WV where I worked as a postdoc. I previously worked at the Naval Research Lab and the ATNF. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 and my B.S. from Yale in 1996.

I am an astronomer interested in how galaxies form and evolve. I use radio telescopes around the world primarily to study neutral hydrogen (HI) in our own Milky Way and other, more distant galaxies. Projects I am actively working on include studying the high-velocity clouds (HVCs) around the Milky Way using the Galactic All-Sky Survey (GASS), a recently completed HI survey of the southern sky using the Parkes radio telescope. An image of the survey is shown here:
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I am also looking for low mass HI clouds and diffuse HI emission associated with nearby galaxies, such as NGC 2997 (below), and in groups of galaxies that may be analogous to the HVCs seen around the Milky Way and may be sources of fuel for future star formation in galaxies.
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Another aspect of my research involves radio studies of luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs). These are prolifically star-forming galaxies that are common in the distant universe, but are exceedingly rare today. I am part of an international collaboration studying LCBGs in the local universe in order to better constrain the current nature and evolutionary fate of LCBGs in the distant universe.

Finally, I am involved in two projects to observe HI in galaxies in the distant universe. These observations will reveal, for the first time, how the HI content of galaxies has evolved over the past eight billion years.

For my research I have used the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, the Parkes radio telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Australia, and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India as well as a few others. I am part of two teams of astronomers who have been granted 11,000 hours of time on MeerKAT, the South African Square Kilometer Array pathfinder telescope.

Please contact me if you are interested in doing undergraduate or graduate research in my group.


Click here for a complete list of my publications from ADS:
Publication List

And sorted by citation count:
Publications ranked by citation


I am also fortunate to be teaching astronomy here at WVU. Here are some of the recent courses I have taught:

Spring 2011 – ASTR703 – Galactic Astronomy

Spring 2012 – ASTR368 – Astrophysics II

Fall 2012 – ASTR106 – Descriptive Astronomy

Spring 2013 – PHYS250 – Computational Physics

Spring 2013 – ASTR703 – Galactic Astronomy


My links