Rosa Amelia Gonzalez-Lopezlira

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Rosa Amelia Gonzalez-Lopezlira was born in Mexico City. After a detour studying of economic and political history of Latin America, Gonzalez-Lopezlira obtained her Ph.D. degree in astronomy from UC Berkeley in 1996. She held postdoctoral positions at STScI and Geneva Observatory, and is now an Associate Professor at the Center for Radioastronomy and Astrophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in the beautiful colonial city of Morelia, Michoacan. Gonzalez-Lopezlira is an extragalactic observational astronomer, and mostly uses photometric data in the optical and infrared wavelengths. She has worked on the relationship between dynamics and large-scale star formation in galactic disks, the dust content of galaxies, and stellar populations. She discovered the first stellar age gradient across a spiral arm predicted by density wave theory, and together with her Ph.D. student Eric Martinez she found further evidence that dynamics and star formation are related in grand-design spiral galaxies. She calibrated for the first time the use of field background galaxies to measure extinction across galactic disks; she has also pioneered the use of surface brightness fluctuations of star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds to calibrate stellar population models, and to study the influence of AGB stars in unresolved, intermediate age populations.

Biography Updated on 5 December 2010

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