Gaby Canalizo

I’m a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside.  You can find my other faculty website here.


The main focus of my research is the study of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in the near and distant universe.   AGN are centers of galaxies containing supermassive black holes (BH) that are actively accreting matter at relatively high rates.   Much of the gravitational energy of the infalling material is transformed into radiative energy across the electromagnetic spectrum, making AGN some of the most powerful and luminous objects in the universe.   There are many outstanding fundamental questions regarding the origins and astrophysics of AGN, such as determining the most common triggering mechanisms, the duty cycle, and the mass of the central BH.   I investigate these topics through the detailed study of the environments and host galaxies of AGN, as well as establishing relationships between observable parameters in the host galaxies and fundamental parameters in their active nuclei.

A brief overview (though a bit outdated) of my research: Quasars, Host Galaxies, and Their Role in Galaxy Evolution
A list of Publications.

Current Projects

  • The relevance of mergers in the triggering of quasar activity
  • Low-ionization broad absorption line quasars and feedback
  • Velocity dispersions of quasar host galaxies
  • The evolution of velocity dispersions during mergers
  • The evolution of the M-sigma relation out to z~1
  • Black hole growth in dwarf galaxies
  • The Lick AGN Monitoring Project (LAMP)

UCR Research Team

  • Graduate students: Gerald Rude, Remington Sexton, Christina King
  • Postdocs: Vivian U (Chancellor’s Fellow)
  • Former PhD students: Eddie Laag (now at the Aerospace Corporation), Mariana Lazarova (now faculty at UN Kearny), Kyle D. Hiner (now associate data scientist at Adlucent LLC), Nathaniel Stickley (now a postdoc at Caltech/UCR), Roozbeh Davari (now data scientist at Payoff)


  • PHYS 6: “The Violent Universe” – a survey course for non-science majors, offered Winter 2016.
  • PHYS 214: “Techniques of Observational Astrophysics” – a graduate core requirement, offered Spring 2016.
  • PHYS 217: “Stellar Structure and Evolution” – a graduate astronomy elective, offered Fall 2016.
  • PHYS 251: “Observational Astronomy” – a graduate seminar offered every quarter.
  • HNPG 015: “Hazards of the Universe” – an honors program course covering topics ranging from geology to public policy, last offered Spring 2015.
  • HNPG 015: “Astrophotography: Capturing the Beauty of the Universe” – an honors program course co-taught with Dr. Mario de Leo Winkler, last offered Fall 2015.

Press Releases