Texas A&M University - Department of Physics and Astronomy
George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy

Casey Papovich

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Marsha L. '69 and Ralph F. Schilling '68 Chair in Experimental Physics

Texas A&M University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
College Station, TX 77843-4242

George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy

Office: Mitchell Institute 325
Phone: 979-862-2704
Facsimile: 979-845-2590
Office Hours: by appointment
Twitter Handle: @CaseyPapovich


Research - Cosmology, Astrophysics, Formation and Evolution of Galaxies

    Casey Papovich's research is in the areas of observational cosmology, the formation and evolution of the most distant galaxies, and the growth of large scale structures of galaxies. His recent work focuses on observations of the properties of the first galaxies, constraints on cosmological reionization, quantifying the growth and assembly of stellar mass in galaxies in the early universe, the formation of galaxy clusters and their properties, and using satellite galaxies to test of the nature of dark matter and feedback mechanisms in galaxy evolution.
    Dr. Papovich's research utilizes data from all of NASA's space-based Great Observatories (Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra), the NASA/ESA Herschel Space Observatory, and the largest terrestrial telescopes, including the Gemini Observatory, Magellan Telescopes, Keck Observatory, and the ALMA Observatory. He is a project scientist for GMACS, the primary wide-field spectrograph being built for the 25m Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). He is involved in multiple international collaborations, projects, and surveys, including the ZFOURGE, CANDELS, CLEAR, HETDEX, Dark Energy Survey, LSST projects. He is an investigator on the James Webb Space Telescope CEERS Early Release Science program.

Press, Videos, and Newsworthy

  • 2020-02-17 --- [Video] Hubble Past and Present: Witnessing the Formation of Galaxies, Public lecture through the Aspen Center for Physics
  • 2019-07-17 --- [Video] Texas A&M Science - I am Science
  • 2018-02-27 --- NASA cuts would deal a blow to Texas science
  • 2017-11-30 --- Texas A&M Astronomer to Help Test Capabilities of Telescope His Faculty Chair's Namesake Helped Build
  • 2017-03-17 --- [Video] Interacting with Big Data at SXSW 2017 (#TAMUxSXSW)
  • 2016-12-20 --- Milky-Way-Like Galaxies Seen in their Awkward Adolescent Years
  • 2016-12-19 --- Texas A&M-Led Study Helps Prove Galaxy Evolution Theory
  • 2016-08-30 --- Mapping the Rise and Fall of Galaxies
  • 2015-04-09 --- Our sun came late to the Milky Way's star-birth party
  • 2014-12-18 --- Four Science Faculty Among Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers
  • 2014-11-19 --- Texas A&M Astronomers Making Cosmic Inroads with NSF Grants
  • 2013-10-23 --- UT, Texas A&M Astronomers Discover Universe's Most Distant Galaxy
  • 2013-10-23 --- Astronomers Discover the Most Distant Galaxy Yet
  • 2012-12-03 --- College of Science Honors 2012 Award Winners
  • 2012-03-06 --- Hidden in Plain Sight: A&M Astronomers Help Find Distant Galaxy to Shed Light on Early Universe
  • 2010-05-11 --- Ancient City of Galaxies Looks Surprisingly Modern
  • 2010-05-11 --- Texas A&M-Led Research Finds Ancient City Of "Modern" Galaxies
  • 2010-03-08 --- Erukhimova, Katzgraber, and Papovich receive Teaching Excellence Awards
  • 2010-01-25 --- A&M profs gazing for start of the universe
  • 2010-01-20 --- Texas A&M Astronomers Find Baby Galaxies in Early Universe
  • 2009-12-04 --- Seeing Stars: Texas A&M Astronomy Program Reaches New Heights
  • Selected Papers

  • Simons, Papovich, Momcheva et al. 2021, ApJ submitted, CLEAR: The Gas-Phase Metallicity Gradients of Star-Forming Galaxies at 0.6 < z < 2.6
  • Yang, Papovich, Bagley et al. 2021, ApJ in press, JWST/MIRI Simulated Imaging: Insights into Obscured Star-Formation and AGN for Distant Galaxies in Deep Surveys
  • Estrada-Carpenter, Papovich, Momcheva et al. 2020, ApJ, CLEAR. II. Evidence for Early Formation of the Most Compact Quiescent Galaxies at High Redshift
  • Kawinwanichakij, Papovich, Ciardullo et al. 2020, ApJ, On the (Lack of) Evolution of the Stellar Mass Function of Massive Galaxies from z = 1.5 to 0.4
  • Hutchison, Papovich, Finkelstein et al. 2019, ApJ, Near-infrared Spectroscopy of Galaxies During Reionization: Measuring C III] in a Galaxy at z = 7.5
  • Estrada-Carpenter, Papovich, Momcheva, et al. 2019, ApJ, CLEAR I: Ages and Metallicities of Quiescent Galaxies at 1.0 < z < 1.8 Derived from Deep Hubble Space Telescope Grism Data
  • Papovich et al. 2018, ApJ, The Effects of Environment on the Evolution of the Galaxy Stellar Mass Function
  • Kawinwanichakij, Papovich et al. 2017, ApJ, Effect of Local Environment and Stellar Mass on Galaxy Quenching and Morphology at 0.5 < z < 2.0
  • Papovich et al. 2016, Nature Astron., Large molecular gas reservoirs in ancestors of Milky Way-mass galaxies nine billion years ago
  • Salmon, Papovich, Long, et al. 2016, ApJ, Breaking the Curve with CANDELS: A Bayesian Approach to Reveal the Non-Universality of the Dust-Attenuation Law at High Redshift
  • Papovich, et al. 2016, ApJS, The Spitzer-HETDEX Exploratory Large-area Survey
  • Shipley, Papovich, et al. 2016, ApJ, A New Star Formation Rate Calibration from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emission Features and Application to High-redshift Galaxies
  • Kawinwanichakij, Quadri, Papovich et al. 2016, ApJ, Satellite Quenching and Galactic Conformity at 0.3 < z < 2.5
  • Finkelstein, Ryan, Papovich, et al. 2015, ApJ, The Evolution of the Galaxy Rest-frame Ultraviolet Luminosity Function over the First Two Billion Years
  • Papovich, Labbé, Quadri et al. 2015, ApJ, ZFOURGE/CANDELS: On the Evolution of M* Galaxy Progenitors from z = 3 to 0.5
  • Salmon, Papovich, Finkelstein, et al. 2015, ApJ, The Relation between Star Formation Rate and Stellar Mass for Galaxies at 3.5 ≤ z ≤ 6.5 in CANDELS
  • Tilvi, Papovich, Finkelstein, et al., 2014, ApJ, Rapid Decline of Lyα Emission toward the Reionization Era
  • Kawinwanichakij, Papovich, Quadri, et al. 2014, ApJ, The Distribution of Satellites around Massive Galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in ZFOURGE/CANDELS: Dependence on Star Formation Activity
  • Finkelstein, Papovich, et al. 2013, Nature, A galaxy rapidly forming stars 700 million years after the Big Bang at redshift 7.51
  • Lotz, Papovich, Faber et al. 2013, ApJ, Caught in the Act: The Assembly of Massive Cluster Galaxies at z = 1.62
  • Bassett, Papovich, Lotz et al., 2013, ApJ, CANDELS Observations of the Environmental Dependence of the Color-Mass-Morphology Relation at z=1.6
  • Shipley, Papovich, Rieke et al., 2013, ApJ, Spitzer Spectroscopy of Infrared-Luminous Galaxies: Diagnostics of AGN and Star Formation and Contribution to Total Infrared Luminosity
  • Tilvi, Papovich, Tran et al., 2013, ApJ, Discovery of Lyman Break Galaxies at z ˜ 7 from the zFourGE Survey
  • Papovich, Bassett, Lotz, et al. 2012, ApJ, CANDELS Observations of the Structural Properties and Evolution of Galaxies in a Cluster at z=1.62
  • Finkelstein S., Papovich, Salmon, et al. 2012, ApJ CANDELS: The Evolution of Galaxy Rest-Frame Ultraviolet Colors from z = 8 to 4
  • Papovich, Finkelstein S., Ferguson, Lotz, & Giavalisco 2011, MNRAS, The Rising Star-Formation Histories of Distant Galaxies and Implications for Gas Accretion with Time
  • Papovich, Momcheva, Willmer, et al. 2010, ApJ, A Spitzer-Selected Galaxy Cluster at z=1.62
  • Finkelstein, Papovich, Giavalisco, et al. 2010, ApJ, On the Stellar Populations and Evolution of Star-Forming Galaxies at 6.3 < z < 8.6
  • Papovich 2008, ApJ, The Angular Clustering of Distant Galaxy Clusters
  • All peer-reviewed publications on NASA/ADS --- ORCID: 0000-0001-7503-8482


  • Texas A&M University
      Professor, 2016 - present
      Marsha L. '69 and Ralph F. Schilling '68 Chair in Experimental Physics, 2015 - present
      Associate Professor, 2012 - 2016
      Assistant Professor, 2008 - 2012
  • University of Arizona
      Spitzer Fellow, 2005 - 2008
      Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2001 - 2005
  • Johns Hopkins University
      PhD Physics, 2002
  • College of William and Mary
      BS Physics with honors, 1995