Amanda Quirk

I am white, and I have short blond hair. Here I am in front of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. I am smiling.

M31 image credit: Robert Gendler

CVResearchPublicationsTeachingOutreachMentoring Life Outside of Work


I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the Astronomy & Astrophysics department at UCSC. I’m working with Prof. Puragra Guha Thakurta on the kinematics of resolved stars and gas in the Andromeda galaxy and in the Triangulum galaxy. I am particularly interested in what asymmetric drift and the velocity dispersion can tell us about the dynamical heating history of a galaxy.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Astrophysics from Columbia University in 2017. There I worked with Prof. Jeremiah Ostriker and Dr. Ena Choi on galaxy evolution. We used zoom-in hydrodynamical simulations to study the effects of supernova feedback on low mass stellar halos and dark matter halos.

I am a proud disabled scientist and an advocate for individuals with disabilities. I work on increasing awareness and accessibility in the department, on campus,  and in STEM as a whole. I plan to have a career in STEM outreach and education with a focus on making materials universally accessible.