Hello! My name is Bryanne McDonough and I am a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Astronomy at Boston University.


A little about me: I was born and raised in western Massachusetts and then ventured out to Rochester, New York. At Rochester Institute of Technology I obtained my Bachelor’s degree¬†cum laude in Physics with minors in Astronomy and Mathematics in May 2018. I was a member of the honors program and Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. In the spring of 2018, I was awarded¬†the John Wiley Jones Award for Outstanding Students in Science and named a Physics Undergraduate Research Scholar.

My main research interests lie in computational astrophysics. I believe that simulations are a powerful tool that can help answer many questions. By tweaking parameters until the simulation matches what we observe, we can further understand the different mechanisms by which our universe operates.

Currently, I work with Dr. Tereasa Brainerd with data from the IllustrisTNG Simulation, a large simulation of galaxy formation. My latest published results regard the distribution of satellite galaxies and dark matter. I am currently working on spatially-resolved star formation rates in an effort to constrain feedback models in the TNG simulation.

At RIT, I worked with Drs. Andrew Robinson and Triana Almeyda on a simulation of the dusty torus that surrounds active galactic nuclei. By studying how light from the accretion disk is affected by a dusty torus, we can learn more about the structure of these powerful galactic engines.


Background Image Credit: Illustris Simulation