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School of Arts and Sciences

Brendan Mullan, Ph.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, PHYSICS

Pictured is Brendan Mullan, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics. | Photo by John Altdorfer

CONTACT INFORMATION

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Arts, Astronomy-Physics, Colgate University
  • Master of Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University

COURSES TAUGHT

  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • Physics lab

BACKGROUND

Assistant Professor Brendan Mullan, Ph.D., is an internationally respected astrophysicist, science communicator and education program developer and director. He has broad experience and accumulated skills in teaching and outreach for audiences of all ages and interests, combined with the unique perspective of a trained professional scientist and educational program manager. Mullan is universally recognized for his distinctive public savvy, enthusiasm, sense of humor and passion for creative science communication.

CURRICULUM VITAE 


RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • The interstellar medium and star formation in interacting galaxies
  • Galaxy evolution
  • Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)

SCIENCE EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

  • Co-founder and director of science, The Wrinkled Brain Project, Pittsburgh, Pa., Spring 2015-present
  • Research scientist and educator, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Seattle, Wash., Fall 2013-present
  • Famelab national/international representative, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa., Spring 2012-present
  • Freelance science writer, 2007-present
  • Director, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., Spring 2014-Spring 2015
  • Science U director/instructor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa., Summer 2012-Summer 2013

SELECTED SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS

  • Co-author: "A Tale of Two Tails: Exploring Stellar Populations in the Tidal Tails of NGC 3256," Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, May 2016.
  • Co-author: "The G Infared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies III: The Reddest Extended Sources in WISE," The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 2015.
  • Co-author: "The G Infared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies II: Framework, Strategy and First Result," The Astrophysical Journal, 2014.
  • Co-author: "The G Infared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies I: Background and Justification," The Astrophysical Journal, 2014.
  • "Tidal Tails of Minor Mergers II: Comparing Star Formation in the Tidal Tails of NGC 2782," The Astrophysical Journal, 2013.
  • "Under Pressure: Star Clusters and the HΙ Medium of Tidal Tails," The Astrophysical Journal, 2013.
  • "Star Clusters in the Tidal Tails of Interacting Galaxies: Cluster Populations Across a Variety of Tail Environments," The Astrophysical Journal, 2011.

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • "From Academia to Nonprofits: Life Lessons through Stock Photos," Keynote address at the Graduate Women in Science conference, University Park, Pa., June 2015.
  • "Everything in the Universe is Terrible. But Here's Why That's Awesome," Space Out Weekend lecture, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., March 2015 and October 2014 and Friedman lecture for the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, October 2013.
  • "Think Like a Scientist: A Survivor's Guide to the 21st Century," presented to regional high schools with National Geographic Learning, Kansas City, Kan., March 2014 and Denver, Colo., December 2013.
  • "Science is Awesome and So Can You," presented to regional high schools with National Geographic Learning, Las Cruces, N.M., November 2013.
  • "The Stupendous Story of Stars!" presented to regional high schools with National Geographic Learning, Chicago, Ill., October 2013 and Hong Kong Science Museum, November 2012.
  • "The Mayan Apocalypse of 2012," Café Scientifique event, British Council Headquarters, Hong Kong, November 2012.

SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS

  • National Geographic Emerging Explorer, 2013
  • NASA Famelab science communication national champion, 2012
  • NASA Famelab regional audience favorite, 2012
  • International Famelab finalist, top 10 worldwide, 2012
  • NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant fellow, 2009-2011
  • Zaccheus Daniel fellow, 2010

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS

  • American Astronomical Society, 2007-present
  • National Geographic Society, 2013-present
  • ΣΙΙΣ Physics Honor Society, 2006-present
  • Society of Physics Students, 2006-present
  • Blue Marble Institute of Science, 2013-present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015-present

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