Professor Meg Urry

Director, Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Meg Urry is the Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University, where she also serves as Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Professor Urry also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and immediate past president of the American Astronomical Society.

Professor Urry has been a member of the Yale faculty since 2001, and chaired the Yale Department of Physics from 2007-2013. Prior to coming to Yale, Professor Urry served in various positions with the Space Telescope Science Institute, including as Astronomer and Head of the Science Program Selection Office. Previously, Professor Urry was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Space Research. Professor Urry earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, summa cum laude, from Tufts University.

Professor Urry’s current research includes work on the co-evolution of galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their centers (known as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) when they are actively accreting), accretion, jets, multiwavelength surveys, unification of active galactic nuclei, and blazars. Professor Urry has published very widely, and has lectured and participated in colloquia around the world, including:

  • Over 230 publications in refereed journals (Astrophysical Journal, Astrophysical Journal letters, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, Nature, Science, Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Advances in Space Research, Astroparticle Physics)
  • 38 book chapters and invited review papers
  • 4 books edited
  • 380 abstracts and contributed papers
  • Over 240 colloquia and invited review talks
  • Over 77 talks and papers on women in science
  • Articles in the popular press (Parade magazine,, Huffington Post)

Professor Urry has earned many awards and honors. Most recently, she was a 2013 honoree of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recipient of the 2012 Van Biesbroeck Prize from the American Astronomical Association, and recipient of the 2010 Woman in Space Science Award from the Adler Planetarium.

In addition to being immediate past president, and a member of, the American Astronomical Society, Professor Urry is a member of numerous scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society (Division of Astrophysics), the International Astronomical Union, American Women in Science, and the American Association of University Women.

Professor Urry also has served on many science policy committees, including numerous positions with NASA and the National Academies of Science, as well as multiple oversight committees and peer review panels. Professor Urry also has been active in many committees and initiatives at Yale relating to faculty, student, and institutional matters. Professor Urry has been a vigorous advocate for women in science, working to expand opportunity in the profession for all, and mentoring numerous promising scholars in her field.

Other Members