Linda Tacconi receives Lancelot Berkeley Prize

January 10, 2012
This week, Linda Tacconi will receive the "Lancelot M. Berkeley - New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy" during the annual winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. In her prize lecture, the MPE scientist will talk about how powerful millimetre telescopes can probe distant, massive galaxies to reveal that they were indeed rich in molecular gas and therefore formed stars much more rapidly than galaxies today.

Linda Tacconi is a senior astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, where she works with millimetre and submillimetre interferometry as well as infrared high resolution imaging spectroscopy to find out more about galaxies, the black holes at their centres and star formation. After her PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA, Linda Tacconi worked at the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, Dwingeloo, before she moved to the MPE in 1991. She has been or is chairing several international committees to maximize the scientific return from telescopes such as ALMA, IRAM and the VLT.

The Lancelot M. Berkeley New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy was established in 2010 and is awarded annually for highly meritorious work in advancing the science of astronomy published in a peer-reviewed journal during the previous year. No restrictions are placed on a candidate's citizenship or country of residency. In 2010, the prize was awarded jointly to William J. Borucki and David G. Koch from the NASA Ames Research Center.

The 2012 prize goes to Linda Tacconi "in recognition of her contributions to the field, and in particular the recent paper on 'High molecular gas fractions in normal massive star-forming galaxies in the young Universe'."

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