Dr. Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D., Chosen as Fellow of the American Astronomical Society


Ata Sarajedini, a professor from the Department of Physics and the Bjorn Lamborn Endowed Chair in Astrophysics at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), has been voted a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). This prestigious recognition is granted annually to less than 0.5% of the society’s membership, honoring a total of 21 individuals this year for their exceptional achievements and service in the field. AAS is a notable international organization of professional and amateur astronomers, as well as astronomy educators.

The selection of AAS Fellows is based on several criteria, including original research and publications, innovation in astronomical techniques or instrumentation, noteworthy service to the society, and significant contributions to education and public outreach. The 2024 AAS Fellows are the fifth cohort to be recognized for their personal accomplishments and remarkable service to the astronomical sciences and the AAS.

Sarajedini’s recognition is attributed to his substantial contributions to the study of resolved stellar populations, with a focus on the formation and evolution of star clusters and galaxies. His leadership in various committees and public service initiatives like the “Astronomy Minute” podcast were also noted.

Before joining the FAU in 2017, Sarajedini held various roles at the University of Florida, including associate dean for natural sciences and mathematics, and associate dean for research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also served as the associate chair and acting chair of the Department of Astronomy. He served as the dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science from 2017 to 2020.

Sarajedini’s academic journey began with a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Yale in 1992. He then spent five years as a postdoctoral researcher and a Hubble Fellow at Kitt Peak National Observatory and San Francisco State University. He was an assistant professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for two years before moving to the University of Florida in 2001. His academic excellence has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award in 2001 and a University of Florida Research Professor award in 2006. He has also been the principal investigator of a large U.S. Treasury project with the Hubble Space Telescope since 2014.

Sarajedini’s scholarly contributions extend to over 500 publications, which have collectively garnered more than 16,000 citations. Over 200 of these publications have appeared in peer-reviewed literature. His Hirsch Index, according to Google Scholar, is 70.

The AAS was established in 1899, and its approximately 8,000 members include professionals from various fields whose interests intersect with the astronomical sciences. The society’s mission is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe through a diverse and inclusive astronomical community. It fulfills this mission through various activities, including publishing, conducting meetings, advocating for science, and offering education, outreach, training, and professional development.



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