Physics and Astronomy Department
 Professor Rebecca A. Koopmann '89

Rebecca A. Koopmann '89

Job Title
R. Gordon Gould Professor of Physics and Astronomy
ISEC 125
Physics and Astronomy, SMTC

Areas of expertise

Galaxy Evolution, Galaxies in Groups and Clusters, Star Formation and Gas Contents of Galaxies, Observational Astronomy

Research interests

My research seeks to understand the physical parameters and processes that most influence the evolution of galaxies. I examine the gas and star formation properties of nearby galaxies, focusing particularly on galaxies in groups and clusters where evolution is likely to be accelerated by environmental effects.

I am a member of the ALFALFA Team, led by Riccardo Giovanelli and Martha Haynes at Cornell University. The ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) project used the Arecibo Observatory 305-m telescope near Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to search for emission from atomic hydrogen (HI) in galaxies.

I am the leader of the NSF-Funded Undergraduate ALFALFA Team, a consortium of 24 institutions participating in ALFALFA research. The program includes an Annual Undergraduate ALFALFA Workshop. Read more about the grant in Koopmann et al. 2020, Troischt et al. 2016, and Odekon 2015.

Teaching interests

Astronomy, Galaxies, Astrobiology, Introductory Physics


  • Durbala, A., Finn, R. A., Odekon, M. C., Haynes, M. P., Koopmann, R. A., O'Donoghue, A. 2020, 'The ALFALFA-SDSS Galaxy Catalog', Astronomical Journal, 160, 271
  • O'Donoghue, A. A., Haynes, M. P., Koopmann, R. A., et al. 2019, 'The Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey. I. Harvesting ALFALFA', Astronomical Journal, 157, 81
  • Koopmann, R. A. et al. 2019, 'Integrating Undergraduate Research and Faculty Development in a Legacy Astronomy Research Project', Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 51, 69
  • Odekon, M. C., Hallenbeck, G., Haynes, M. P., Koopmann, R.A., Phi, A., Wolfe, P. 2019, 'The Effect of Filaments and Tendrils on the H I Content of Galaxies', Astrophysical Journal, 852, 142
  • Hallenbeck, G., Koopmann, R. A. et al. 2017, 'HI in Virgo's "Red and Dead" Dwarf Ellipticals - A Tidal Tail and Central Star Formation', 2017, Astronomical Journal, 154, 58

See my Publication List for full list and links.

Additional media


American Astronomical Society
Astronomical Society of New York
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
International Astronomy Union

Academic credentials

B.S., Union College; M.S., Yale University; Ph.D., Yale University