Chair, Senior Science Staff Executive Committee

Dr. Alex Fullerton is an Observatory Scientist with expertise in ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of hot, massive stars. A primary theme of his research involves using spectroscopic time-series observations to study physical processes in the photospheres and stellar winds of O- and B-type stars. The ultimate goal of these studies is to understand how photospheric processes such as pulsations and magnetic fields influence the hydrodynamical structure and properties of the dense, radiation-driven outflows from these stars.

After completing his graduate studies at the University of Toronto, Alex held postdoctoral positions at the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware and the Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Germany. He moved to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1997 as one of the Canadian support astronomers for the Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission. In 2004, he relocated to STScI to provide full-time support for the development of the Canadian Space Agency’s instrumental contributions to the James Webb Space Telescope. Alex joined the AURA staff at STScI in 2012, where he serves in the Instruments Division as the Branch Manager for CSA’s Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS).


PhD in Astronomy, University of Toronto
MSc in Astronomy, University of Toronto
BSc in Astronomy and Physics, University of Toronto


Science Interests:

  • Atmospheric variability of O-type stars
  • Mass-loss rates of early-types stars
  • Pulsational magnetic properties of massive stars
  • Time-series analysis


Research Topics: Local Group Galaxies; Resolved Stellar Populations; Instrumentation; Stellar Astrophysics


ORCHID ID: 0000-0003-2429-7964