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    Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Division Head, Astrophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology   

    Professor Frebel is an observational astronomer and astrophysicist. She received her PhD from the Australian National University’s Mt. Stromlo Observatory in 2007, and did postdoctoral work as a WJ McDonald Fellow in Austin, TX (2006-2008) and as Clay Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), in Cambridge, MA (2009-2012).


    Professor Frebel has received numerous honors and awards including the 2010 Annie Jump Cannon Award (American Astronomical Society), a 2013 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and in 2016 she was named one of ScienceNews Magazine’s “Ten Scientists to Watch”. She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2018 and to full Professor in 2022.


    Professor Frebel has authored more than 165 papers in various refereed journals, including Nature. She also enjoys communicating science to the public through regular public lectures, magazine articles, interviews as well as her popular science book “Searching For The Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe” (Princeton University Press). She also teaches Leadership and Professional Strategies to grad students, postdocs and faculty at MIT to empower their in their career journey.  


    2023 // Appointed Division Head for Astrophysics (MIT)

    2022 // American Physical Society (APS) Fellow "For pioneering contributions to the study of low-metallicity stars, near-field cosmology, and the r-process in astrophysics."

    2021 // Elected member (corresponding) of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany

    2020 // Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin ('20-'21) Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, Germany

    2019 // Earll Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising (MIT)

    2018 // Committed to Caring Award (MIT)

    2017 // Senior Women in Astronomy Fellowship, ICRAR, Perth, Australia

    2016 // ScienceNews Magazine's Ten Scientists To Watchlist

    2014 // Appointed Silverman (1968) Family Career Development Professorship (MIT)

    2013 // NSF CAREER Award, US National Science Foundation

    2011, 2013, and 2015 // Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences

    2010 // Lise Meitner Lecturer, Göttingen and Innsbruck

    2010 // Annie Jump Cannon Award, American Astronomical Society "For her pioneering work in advancing our understanding of the earliest epochs of the Milky Way Galaxy through the study of its oldest stars."

    2009 // Ludwig-Biermann Young Astronomer Award, German Astronomical Society

    2007 // Charlene Heisler Prize (the best Australian astronomy PhD thesis)