Dr. Sarah Higdon

Sarah Higdon225x150Dr. Sarah Higdon
Assistant Professor
B.Sc. Physics (Hons), Leeds University, U.K.
M.A. Peace Studies, Bradford University, U.K.
M.Sc. Radio Astronomy, Jodrell Bank, Manchester University, U.K.
Ph.D. Physics/Astronomy, Southhampton University, U.K.

Office: Math-Physics, Room 3019
Phone: (912) 478-5888



I adopt a multi-wavelength approach, spanning the X-ray through radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to study star formation and the nature of the inter-stellar medium in galaxies, both in the local and distant (early) Universe. These studies address fundamental questions: How do galaxies form? How do they evolve?, How do you trigger star formation? How do you quench it? I am a member of The Second Generation (z)Redshift and Early Universe Spectrometer (ZEUS-2) instrument team (P.I. Prof Stacey, Cornell). The instrument will see first light on the Atacama Pathfinder Telescope in Chile in the Fall of 2012. ZEUS-2 is a sub-mm spectrometer designed to study star formation across cosmic time. I am the project lead on a program studying star formation in galaxies with nuclear rings. Prior to coming here I was a member of the Spitzer Infrared Spectrometer instrument team at Cornell University, and my research continues to exploit the rich legacy of the Spitzer archive.

I am interested in STEM education. Participation in an undergraduate research experience can be a prime motivator for students pursuing a career in science. I am co-PI of an NSF project called the ALFALFA Undergraduate Team. ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) uses the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico and is a survey of the atomic hydrogen (HI) content of 30,000 galaxies in our Local Universe. Students from Georgia Southern and 18 other colleges across the US are given the opportunity to join this world-class research team. Undergraduates participate in the project by observing on site at Arecibo or from their institute, reducing the survey data, and using the ALFALFA data to conduct a summer research project. Students typically present their findings at our annual workshop at Arecibo and/or at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

I am currently a member of the American Astronomical Society Education Board.

I currently have 63 refereed publications. These papers can be accessed from the Astronomy Data System.

Last updated: 8/17/2016

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS • P.O. Box 8031 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5292