Adaptive optics, Astrometry, Black holes, Galactic Centers, Optical/infrared instrumentation, Resolved Stellar Populations, Star and Cluster Formation, The Stellar Initial Mass Function.
Lu’s research group is conducting a search for free-floating stellar-mass black holes in the Milky Way using photometric and astrometric microlensing. Her group also studies how star formation changes in extreme environments such as in massive young clusters and the Galactic Center. These areas of research require high-precision astrometry and high resolution infrared images from space telescopes and ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics (AO). Prof. Lu works on several instrumentation teams that aim to improve AO on the ground and infrared astrometry from space, including the Thirty Meter Telescope IRIS instrument, the ‘imaka project to test very wide-field AO, the W.M. Keck AO system, and the WFIRST Astrometry working group.
Current Group Members
- Dongwon Kim (UCB postdoc)
- Siyao Jia (UCB grad)
- Michael Medford (UCB grad)
- Fatima Abdurrahman (UCB grad)
- Casey Lam (UCB grad)
- Emily Ramey (UCB grad)
- Undergrads: Prakamya Agrawal, Caylan Anderson, Angela Cheng, Surbhi Dhiman, Blake Dreschler, Carissa Lewis, Eden McEwen, Sam Rose, Ruoyi Yin
Former Group Members
- Paolo Turri (UCB postdoc) -> U Victoria postdoc
- Max Service (PhD 2019, IfA) – >Gemini AO postdoc
- Nijaid Arredondo (B.S. 2019, UCB) – >Princeton post-bac
- Nicholas Rui (UCB undergrad)
- Steven Robinson (B.S. 2018, UCB)
- Peter Boyle (B.S. 2019 UCB) -> UCLA grad student (medical physics)
- Matt Hosek (PhD 2018, IfA) – >UCLA postdoc
- Haynes Stephens (B.S. 2018, UCB) -> U Chicago grad student
- Delphine Veronese-Milin (UCB undergrad)
- Kelly Lockhart (PhD 2017, IfA) -> SAO/NASA ADS (data scientist)
- Evan Sinukoff (PhD 2018, IfA)
- Laurie Urban (IfA grad)
- Elizabeth Toller (IfA grad)
- Ding Bon Huang (IfA grad)
- Vida Khademi (UCB undergrad)
- Corey Mutnik (IfA undergrad)
Jessica Lu received her undergraduate degree in physics from the MIT in 2000. She worked as a software engineer in silicon valley for 3 years before returning to academia to pursue her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics at UCLA, which was granted in 2008. After completing her PhD, she was awarded a Millikan Postdoctoral Fellowship in Observational Astronomy at Caltech. She was also an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in the University of Hawaii, Manoa before joining the IfA faculty in 2013. In the summer of 2016, Jessica joined the faculty of the UC Berkeley astronomy department.
We are searching for black holes in the Milky Way using gravitational lensing.