University of Vermont

University Communications


Arts & Sciences
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039
Specialty:radio astronomy, pulsars, stars
Biography:Joanna Rankin carries out research in observational radio astronomy with primary interests in the areas of the pulsar radio-frequency emission problem, pulsars as probes of the interstellar medium, and feminist studies of science. She has published a series of papers describing a phenomenological model of pulsar emission, based on the study of the average emission profiles of pulsars. Now, she is using these results to study the sequences of individual pulses in full polarization, in an effort to better understand the stars' emission characteristics. She regularly makes observations using the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and other instruments, and her recent observations have focused on the polarization properties of pulsar emission, both of average profiles and of trains of individual pulses. She actively collaborates with astronomers throughout the world including India and Russia and is actively interested in science as it is connected to militarism, third-world development, and women's emancipation. Rankin has a B.S. degree in Physics and Mathematics from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Iowa.