FAST Team: City University of New York, Staten Island — MaNGA

The Project

<em>Alaina, Andrea and Christina at their first AAS meeting</em>
Alaina, Andrea and Christina at their first AAS meeting

Stellar population distributions and star formation histories of post-starburst (or 'E+A') galaxies in the MaNGA survey

Team Faculty: Charles Liu, City University of New York, College of Staten Island
Team Mentor: Karen Masters, University of Portsmouth (UK)
Team Students: Ashley Betances, Alaina Bonilla, Andrea Gonzalez, Olivia James, Christina Migliore, Muhammed Wally, Nicole Wallack, Olivia Weaver
Survey: MaNGA

Team Bios

Olivia James

Olivia James
Olivia James

I am a part of the FAST-CUNY (City University of New York) CSI (College of Staten Island) team at AMNH (American Museum of Natural History). I attend CUNY York College, there are a total of 25 universities within the CUNY New York City area. My academic major is Physics and I will be graduating with my B.S. in Physics in the Fall 2016. With the use of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey I am studying quenching E+A (elliptical + irregular galaxies) using MaNGA to map out star formation in green and red valleys within the red shift. It has always been my passion to study the stars starting back to when I was a little girl visiting my mom’s home country the Caribbean Island of Nevis and seeing the stars in the night sky for the first time.

Miguel Anderson


I was born and raised in New York, NY spending half my life in the Bronx and half in Westchester. I am an undergraduate at Duke University majoring in Physics with a minor in Religious Studies. This summer I am working with SDSS FAST CUNY MaNGA, where we are researching star formation histories and quenching of E+A galaxies at the American Museum of Natural History. Everyday I walk into the museum I get flashbacks from when my mom used to take my brothers and me to eat the T-Rex shaped chicken nuggets. And now I work there! As a New Yorker, it is incredible that I can study the cosmos from one of the most light polluted cities in the world.

Muhammad Wally


My name is Muhammad Wally, I study Mechanical Engineering and Physics at the Xavier University of Louisiana. Born in the Bronx, NY and Raised in West Africa and then Brooklyn, my love of the sciences followed me everywhere I went. As my study of the physical sciences continued I quickly realized that I wanted to apply what I learned in order to make the world even better than it already is, and lead the charge towards exciting new discoveries.

My interests in machinery are as broad as the field of Mechanical Engineering. I spend time studying automotive technology, robotics, and aerospace technologies. However I have recently developed an exciting new affinity for Fiber Optics, in large part due to my study of the instrumentation used in the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey.

Using the outstanding data collection ability of the MaNGA survey and its instrumentation, my team is currently studying post-starburst galaxies, specifically E+A galaxies, the phenomenon known as Green Valley galaxies.

Nicole Wallack

Nicole Wallack
Nicole Wallack

My name is Nicole Wallack and I was born in Staten Island, New York. I graduated from the University at Albany with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics in May 2016. I will be pursuing a PhD in planetary science at Caltech starting in September 2016. I first became interested in space science when I began interning with Professor Charles Liu in the Astrophysics Department of the American Museum of Natural History while in high school. Professor Liu encouraged my love of astronomy and allowed me to keep coming back to intern year after year to study galaxy evolution. It was through this internship that I was given the opportunity to join the SDSS FAST team led by Professor Liu and further explore galaxies using MaNGA data.

Olivia Weaver

Olivia Weaver
Olivia Weaver

My name is Olivia Weaver and I am a senior at Florida Atlantic University. Upon my graduation this coming spring, I will have a major in Astrophysics and a minor in Mathematics and Literature from their Honors College. I first became interested in astrophysics after high school, when I decided to change my life long major of musical theatre to dedicate my life, instead, to the magical world of space science. My interests are string theory, gravity and black holes, and am very interested in doing research in any, if not all of these areas, in the future.
This summer I am working with the FAST-CUNY MaNGA through the American Museum of Natural History’s REU Program on the quenching properties of post-starburst, E + A Galaxies. Our team is using the newest release of the SDSS MaNGA data to discover stellar populations ages, metallicity rates, and dust compositions.