Barry McKernan is known for his research into black holes, and focuses on phenomena including the central engine of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). As part of this work, he uses X-ray and infrared observations of AGN to constrain models of accretion onto supermassive black holes. He also carries out theoretical studies of the fueling of AGN and is interested in MHD simulations of the central engine. He is part of a team applying a new detector technique to space telescopes in order to image details in AGN.
Professor McKernan is a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, a member of Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center, a member of CUNY Astro and an invited member of the James Webb Space Telescope, Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectograph-Aperture Masking Interferometry (JWST NIRISS-AMI) Working Group. At BMCC, he mentors students in research projects, guiding their analysis of data related to black holes and active galaxies.