As the chair of the institute’s science staff, Dr. Marc Postman works to strengthen STScI’s research productivity by advocating for the needs of the research staff. He monitors the use of research-enabling resources, oversees the peer mentoring program, seeks ways to enhance the scientific environment, and consults with the research staff to guide the institute toward exciting research initiatives.
From 2005 to 2019, Dr. Postman led the community missions office, where he guided the institute’s role in providing science operations support for a number of ground- and space-based observatories that are led by independent astronomical groups in partnership with STScI. During that period, he and his staff helped STScI acquire key roles in supporting NASA’s Kepler, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) missions and broadened the range of new initiatives that STScI pursues.
Dr. Postman’s primary research interest has been the formation and evolution of structure in the universe, from galaxies to the largest superclusters. He was a member of the science investigation team for the Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument that was deployed on the Hubble Space Telescope in 2002. From 2010 to 2017, Dr. Postman lead an international team of researchers to conduct a 525-orbit survey with the Hubble telescope to study dark matter in galaxy clusters and to detect some of the most distant galaxies in the universe. He is an observational astronomer and has used a wide range of telescopes on the ground and in space, covering the electromagnetic spectrum from radio and infrared to ultraviolet and X-rays.
Dr. Postman was the principal investigator for a NASA concept study on the next generation space telescope known as ATLAST and a team member of a follow-on NASA study for the Large Ultraviolet Optical Infrared Surveyor, called LUVOIR. LUVOIR will be able to search for and detect signs of life in the atmospheres of dozens of exoplanets and will be able to probe individual structures as small as 100 solar masses out to z=10. Dr. Postman served on the initial science definition team for WFIRST and now serves on its formulation science working group. Dr. Postman has published over 185 refereed research articles and currently holds the title of Distinguished Astronomer.
PhD in Astronomy, Harvard University
SB in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evolution of massive galaxies
Galaxy cluster distribution
The origin and evolution of large-scale structure in the universe
Research Topics: High-Redshift Galaxies; Galaxy Groups and Clusters; Galaxy Formation and Evolution; Dark Matter; Large-scale Structure
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9365-7989