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Anna L. Frebel

Anna L. Frebel

Assistant Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


After studying physics in Germany, Frebel received her PhD from the Australian National University's Mt. Stromlo Observatory in 2007, advised by Prof. John E. Norris. For her work on "Abundance Analysis of Bright Metal-Poor Stars from the 'Hamburg/ESO Survey", Frebel was awarded the 2007 Charlene Heisler Prize (for the best Australian astronomy PhD thesis). She then received the WJ McDonald Postdoctoral Fellowship which took her to Austin, TX (2006-2008) before taking up the Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in early 2009. She was awarded the 2009 Ludwig-Biermann young astronomer award of the German Astronomical Society as well as the 2010 Annie Jump Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society. In early 2012, Dr. Frebel joined the MIT physics faculty as Assistant Professor, and she won a 2013 NSF CAREER award.

Research Interest

Professor Frebel's research interests broadly cover the chemical and physical conditions of the early Universe, and how old, metal-deficient stars can be used to obtain constraints on the first stars and initial mass function, supernova yields and stellar nucleosynthesis. She is best known for her discoveries and subsequent spectroscopic analyses of the most metal-poor stars and how these stars can be employed to uncover information about the early Universe.