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Stephen Zepf

Chairperson & Professor
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Biomedical-Physical Sciences Bldg.
567 Wilson Rd., Room 4208C
(517) 884-5512


1992: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
1987: M.A., Johns Hopkins University
1985: B.S., University of Notre Dame

Selected Publications

Peacock, M.B., Maccarone, T.J., Knigge, C., Kundu, A., Waters, C.Z., & Zepf, S.E. “The M31 globular cluster system: ugriz and K-band photometry and structural parameters,” 2010, MNRAS, 402, 803

Gnedin, O. Y., Maccarone, T.J., Psaltis, D., & Zepf, S.E. “Shrinking the Braneworld: Black Hole in a Globular Cluster,” 2009, ApJ, 705, L168

Waters, C.Z., Zepf, S.E., Lauer, T.R., & Baltz, E.A. “Color Bimodality in M87 Globular Clusters,” 2009, ApJ, 693, 463.

Zepf, S.E., Stern D., Maccarone, T.J., Kundu, A., Kamionkowski, M., Rhode, K.L., Salzer, J.J., Ciardullo, R., Gronwall, C. “Very Broad [O III]4959, 5007 Emission from the NGC 4472 Globular Cluster RZ2109 and Implications for the Mass of Its Black Hole X-Ray Source,” 2008, ApJL, 683, L139.

Professional Activities & Interests / Biographical Information

I am currently Professor and Associate Chair for Astronomy in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Michigan State University. I am on the Board of Directors for the SOAR Telescope, and was recently on the National Academy Panel on the Galactic Neighborhood as part of the 2010 Decadal Survey for US Astronomy and Astrophysics. I was also a director of the Center for the Study of Cosmic Evolution at Michigan State for the previous five years, and had the pleasure of co-chairing a program on globular clusters from Jan-Apr 2009 at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara. Before coming to MSU, I was at Yale University for four years as Asst. Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Astronomy Dept. Earlier, I was a Hubble Fellow at UC Berkeley and a postdoctoral fellow at Durham in the UK. I received my PhD at Johns Hopkins University.

Research Interests

My research is primarily in extragalactic astronomy, with a long-standing focus on the formation and evolution of galaxies. Much of my work in this area uses the properties of globular cluster systems of galaxies to test models of galaxy formation and evolution. I have recently also been working on black holes and neutron stars in extragalactic globular clusters. As a result, I am now working on a long review on "Black Holes in Globular Clusters" for Physics Reports. The paper trail tells the story more completely.