National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Brian O'Shea
Brian O'Shea
Associate Professor of Physics
Theoretical Nuclear Astrophysics
Ph.D., Physics, 2005 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Joined NSCL in September 2015
Phone 517-355-9672

Brian O'Shea

I am a computational and theoretical astrophysicist, and my research involves numerical simulations and analytical modeling of cosmological structure formation, the cosmic web, galaxy clusters, high-redshift galaxies, and Milky Way-type galaxies. My tools of choice are the Enzo AMR code and the yt data analysis and visualization package.

My research focuses on theoretical and numerical studies of galaxy formation and evolution, spanning a wide range of topics including the first generations of stars and galaxies, low redshift galaxies and the intergalactic medium, and galaxy clusters.  My  numerical work is done on the largest supercomputers in the world, including the NSF-funded Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

I am an associate professor at Michigan State University, with a joint appointment in The Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. I am also a member of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering, and the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation.



This is a figure of one of the first galaxies to form in the universe, from a large-scale simulation including cosmological expansion, dark matter, fluid dynamics, radiation transport, and prescriptions for the formation and feedback of stars and black holes. This image shows both stars and nebular emission from ionized gas. Image credit: John Wise, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Selected Publications

Probing the Ultraviolet Luminosity Function of the Earliest Galaxies with the Renaissance Simulations, B.W. O’Shea, J.H. Wise, H. Xu, M.L. Norman, ApJL, 805, 12 (2015)

Bringing Simulation and Observation Together to Better Understand the Intergalactic Medium, H. Egan, B.D. Smith, B.W. O’Shea, J.M. Shull, ApJ, 791, 64 (2014)
Dissecting Galaxy Formation Models with Sensitivity Analysis—a New Approach to Constrain the Milky Way Formation History F.A. Gomez, C. Coleman-Smith, B.W. O’Shea, J. Tumlinson, R. Wolpert, ApJ, 787, 20 (2014)