Brendan Mullan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Physics
- 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
PHYS 101-102: Physics I and I
PHYS 103-104: Physics Lab I and II
PHYS 201-202: Fundamentals of Physics I and II
- NSET 181: Astronomy, Space, and Time
NSET 182: Are We Alone? The Search for Life in the Universe.
- HON 399: Honors Experiential Learning
- HON 499: Honors Capstone
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.
- 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-Spring 2021
Research scientist and educator, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Seattle, Wash., Fall 2013-Spring 2021
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: "Population Growth, Energy Use, and the Implications for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," Futures, June 2018.
- Co-author: "The Astrobiology of the Anthropocene," Cornell University Library, Dec. 2017.
- 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 H? 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.
- "Change and the Cosmos," Keynote speaker at New Jersey Science Teachers Association, Rowan University, August 2017.
- "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
- Creative Nonfiction Science as Story Fellow, 2020
- 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
In the News
- "Scientists want future space telescopes to look for risky signs of alien civilizations," GeekWire, Jan. 15, 2018.
- "Use new telescopes to scout for ET tech, astrobiologists tell NASA," COSMOS, Jan. 9, 2018.
- "Observatory Spots 2 Black Holes Merging 3 Billion Light Years Away," Arizona's KJZZ 91.5 FM, June 13, 2017.
- "Juno Spacecraft to Help Map Jupiter's Giant Magnetosphere," WESA 90.5 FM, July 6, 2016.
- "Discovery of Three Planets Generates Possibilities of Another Earth," WESA 90.5 FM, May 6, 2016.
- "Look! Up in the Sky! More Planets Visible Now Than You'll See Through 2040," WESA 90.5 FM, Jan. 29, 2016.
- "Is Anybody Out There? Astrophysicists Turn Attention to Megastructure in Space," WESA 90.5 FM, Oct. 23, 2015.
Point Park Features
- "Growing Up in the Galaxy: Physics Professor Discusses Extraterrestrial Intelligence at 2023 Finkelhor Lecture," Point Park University website, April 10, 2023.
- "Point Park Physics Professor Named a 2020 Science as Story Fellowship Recipient," Point Park University website, May 6, 2020.
- "Point Park Professor Presenting on YouTube for Celebrating Space Week," Point Park University website, Nov. 14, 2017.
- "Professor Presents to Science Teachers, Featured in National Geographic Videos," Point Park University website, Dec. 5, 2016.
- "Meet Brendan Mullan, Ph.D., Astrophysicist and Assistant Professor of Physics," Point Park University website, Jan. 8, 2016.
- "Physics Professor Lectures on Benefits of Universe's Shortcomings," Point Park University website, Oct. 20, 2015.