Magdalena Siwek, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
Magdalena Siwek headshot.

Magdalena Siwek is a postdoctoral fellow in astrophysics at Columbia University in the Theory and High Energy Astrophysics divisions. She completed her B.Sc. and M.Sci. in astronomy and physics at the University of Glasgow in 2017, and her Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard University in 2024.

Her research focuses on the mergers of the most massive black holes in the universe. She studies how galactic environments affect the formation and mergers of massive black hole binaries (MBHBs), and how MBHBs in turn affect the evolution of galaxies. Magdalena’s research has shed light on the effect of gas-driven orbital evolution on MBHBs and their population statistics. She studies signatures of accretion disk physics in the gravitational waves and electromagnetic emission of black holes, shedding light on the evolution of massive black holes across cosmic time. While at Harvard, she spearheaded community building efforts across the astronomy community, founding the first community garden at the Harvard Astronomy Department and several lecture series highlighting the work of graduate students in theoretical astrophysics.

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