Nathaniel R. Ross

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Astronomy at UCLA. I grew up in Elmhurst, IL (after brief stints in Columbus, OH and Rochester, NY) and graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, IL in 2005. I then attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, and graduated with a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy in June, 2009. While at OSU I participated in undergraduate research under Prof. Christopher S. Kochanek, measuring the properties of a quasar host galaxy.

I am currently working with Prof. Matthew Malkan at UCLA on various projects relating to the history of supermassive black hole growth in the universe. My research interests include cosmic star formation, AGN, high-z galaxies, and gravitational lensing. In addition to my studies, I am working hard to promote Astro-ph Coffee at UCLA, a weekly meeting of the minds to discuss the latest research in astronomy and astrophysics.

Public Outreach and Education

I am a big believer in the importance of public discussion of science and the scientific process. I am an active member of Astronomy Live!, the graduate student-run public outreach organization. Our big annual science fair, Exploring Your Universe has been run by the Astronomy grad students at UCLA for the past five years. It has grown to host public STEM demos from over a dozen departments and organizations on campus for an estimated 5,000 visitors from all over Southern California. I have done Astronomy-themed education demos and hands-on projects with students from third grade through high school. I also occasionally (roughly once per quarter) host our free weekly Public Planetarium shows at UCLA.


My personal interests include football (OSU Buckeyes), baseball (Chicago Cubs), economics, politics, film, television, and music. I also love to explore Los Angeles, from hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, to grabbing KBBQ in Koreatown. I try to maintain an active lifestyle through commuting by bicycle and swimming at the beautiful UCLA pools. I am currently captain of the co-ed UCLA Astronomy softball intramural team, the Blue Stragglers. In 2011, I played catcher for the Physics men's league softball team, H-bar, who were intramural champions (pictured below).

Intramural Champs