Eric F. Bell


Director, Michigan Institute for Research in Astrophysics

ericbell at

300E West Hall
1085 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107

Phone: (734) 764-3408
Department Phone: (734) 764-3440
Fax: (734) 763-6317

I am interested in understanding more about the physics of galaxy evolution. A few questions I'm currently thinking about are: Why do some galaxies grow through star formation, while others long ago ceased to form new stars? How frequently do galaxies interact with each other? What are the effects of these interactions? I will be exploring these issues using three flagship datasets: the PanSTARRS1 survey, and two multi-cycle HST programs to to study i) galaxy evolution from z=8 to z=1, and ii) the star formation history and IMF in M31. There are opportunities to work with me in my research group - please e-mail me for more information.

Research Interests

  • The discovery of Andromeda XXVIII and XXIX was covered by Gemini and Astronomy.
  • Understanding the rate and effects of major galaxy mergers
  • Where do elliptical galaxies come from?
  • Observing the shredded remains of dwarf galaxies around our Milky Way
  • Large Sky Surveys
  • Stellar masses and star formation rates
  • More...


Below are the courses I've taught (or am teaching) at the University of Michigan (2010-present) and the University of Heidelberg (2007-2009).

  • Ctools and Canvas, our Learning Management Systems
  • Astronomy 101 - The Solar System and the Search for Life Beyond Earth (introductory astronomy for non-science majors) - W12, F15
  • Astronomy 102 - Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (introductory astronomy for non-science majors) - W10, W11
  • Astronomy 106 - Aliens (following the format of exploring the Drake Equation) - W11, F11, F13, W15
  • Astronomy 142 - From the Big Bang to the Milky Way (introductory cosmology and astronomy for non-science majors) - W13, W14
  • Astronomy 429 - Senior Writing Seminar - F11
  • Astronomy 533 - The Structure and Content of Galaxies (graduate galaxies class) - F10, F12, F14
  • Comprehensive Studies Program 100 - Perspectives on learning and academic success - Su15
  • Observing the Big Bang, a course on observational cosmology for advanced undergraduates - F07, F08
  • Galaxies, an introductory graduate course - W08, W09


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