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Finkelstein, Keely

Keely D Finkelstein

Associate Professor of Instruction
Department of Astronomy, College of Natural Sciences

Education & Curriculum Design efforts in TIDES and Astronomy, research in galaxy evolution & star formation studies.


Phone: 512-471-3339

Office Location
PMA 16.206

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712


B.S., University of Washington, Physics & Astronomy (2002)

Ph.D., Arizona State University, Physics (2008)

Professional Experience:

2020 - Present: Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Astronomy and Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science, UT Austin

2017 - Present: STEM Instructional Consultant, Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science, College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin

2012 - 2020: Asst. Professor of Instruction / Lecturer, Department of Astronomy, UT Austin

2012 - 2017: Research Associate, Department of Astronomy / McDonald Observatory, UT Austin

2011 - 2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Astronomy / McDonald Observatory, UT Austin

2008 - 2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Texas A&M University


Dr. Keely Finkelstein recieved her B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Washington in 2002. Dr. Finkelstein has her PhD in Physics from Arizona State University (2008), with a research emphasis in astrophysics.  Dr. Finkelstein's disseration work focused on observational studies of galactic star formation, in regions of massive star formation.  Her current research is in the areas of extra-galactic studies of star formation, and galaxy evolution.  Her other specialities are in the fields of education and outreach in astronomy. Dr. Finkelstein is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Astronomy and TIDES, and works with the McDonald Observatory education and outreach team on K-12 teacher and student education programs. Through the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) within CNS she works with departments, faculty, and students within the college on undergraduate education efforts.

Selected Publications:

1. Malhotra, S. Rhoads, J.E., Finkelstein, K., Yang, H., Carilli, C., Combes, F., Dassas, K., Finkelstein, S., Frye, B., Gerin, M., Guillard, P., Nesvadba, N., Rigby, J., Shin, M.-S., Spaans, M., Strauss, M.A., & Papovich, C. "Herschel Extreme Lensing Line Observations: [CII} Variations in Galaxies at Redshifts z=1-3", 2017, ApJ, 835, 110.

2. Buxner, S., Bracey, G., Summer, T., Cobb, W., Gay, P.L., Finkelstein, K.D., Gurton, S., et al. "CosmoQuest: Training Educators and Engaging in Citizen Science through a Virtual Research Facility", 2016, AAS DPS meeting, 48, 418.02.

3. Finkelstein, K.D., Finkelstein, S.L., Tilvi, V., Malhotra, S., Rhoads, J.E., Grogin, N.A., Pirzkal, N., Dey, A., Jannuzi, B.T., Mobasher, B., Pakzad, S., Salmon, B., Wang, J. "Probing the Physical Properties of z=4.5 Lyman Alpha Emitters with Spitzer" 2015, ApJ, 813, 78.

4. Preston, S.L., Cianciolo, F., Wetzel, M., Finkelstein, K., Wren, W., & Nance, C. "Educating for the Preservation of Dark Skies" 2015, AAS IAU Meeting, 29, 2258128.

5. Finkelstein, K., Preston, S.L., Hemenway, M.K., Malasarn, D., & Wetzel, M. "Education Partnerships in Teacher Training: McDonald Observatory and the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization", 2015, AAS IAU Meeting, 29, 2245952.

6. Finkelstein, K.D., Hemenway, M.K., Preston, S., Wetzel, M., Meyer, J., & Rood, M. "The Results of an Era of Teacher Professional Development at McDonald Observatory", 2014, ASP Conference Proceedings, 483, 369.

7. Rhoads, J.E., Malhotra, S., Allam, S., Carili, C., Combes, F., Finkelstein, K., Finkelstein, S., Frye, B., et al. "Herschel Extreme Lensing Line Observations: Dynamics of Two Strongly Lensed Star-Forming Galaxies near Redshift z =2", 2014, ApJ, 787, 8.

8. Zheng, Z.-Y., Wang, J.-X., Malhotra, S., Rhoads, J.E., Finkelstein, S.L., & Finkelstein, K.D. "Lyman Alpha Equivalent Width Distribution of Lya Emitting Galaxies at redshift z~4.5", 2014, MNRAS, 439, 1101.

9. Finkelstein, S.L., Papovich, C., Dickinson, M., Song, M., Tilvi, V., Koekemoer, A.M., Finkelstein, K.D., Mobasher, B., Ferguson, H.C., et al. "A Galaxy Rapidly Forming Stars 700 Million Years After the Big Bang at Redshift 7.51", 2013, Nature, 502, 524.

10. Zheng, Z.-Y., Finkelstein, S.L., Finkelstein, K.D., Tilvi, V., Rhoads, J.E., Malhotra, S., Wang, J.-X., Miller, N., Hibon, P., & Xia, L. "Lyman Alpha Luminosity Functions at Redshift z ~ 4.5", 2013, MNRAS, 431, 3589.

11. Hemenway, M.K., Finkelstein, K.D., and Redfield, S. "Exploring the Nominal Group Technique in the Evaluation of Teacher Professional Development Workshops", 2013, ASP Conference Proceedings, 473, 315.

12. Papovich, C., Bassett, R., Lotz, J.M., van der Wel, A., Tran, K.-V., Finkelstein, S.L., Bell, E.F., Conselice, C.J., Dekel, A., Dunlop, J.S., Guo, Y., Faber, S., Farrah, D., Ferguson, H.C., Finkelstein, K.D., Haussler, B., Kocevski, D.D., Koekemoer, A.M., Koo, D.C., McGrath, E.J., McLure, R.J., McIntosh, D.H., Momcheva, I., Newman, J.A., Rudnick, G., Weiner, B., Willmer, C.N.A., & Wuyts, S. "CANDELS Observations of the Structural Properties of Cluster Galaxies at z = 1.62", 2012, ApJ, 750, 93.

13. Finkelstein, K.D., Papovich, C., Finkelstein, S.L., Willnmer, C.N.A., Rigby, J.R., Rudnick, G., Egami, E., Rieke, M., & Smith, J.-D.T. "Probing the Star Formation History and Initial Mass Funciton of the z ~ 2.5 Lensed Galaxy SMM J163554.2+661225 with Herschel", 2011, ApJ, 742, 108.

14. Finkelstein, S.L., Cohen, S.H., Windhorst, R.A., Ryan, R.E., Hathi, N.P., Finkelstein, K.D., Anderson, J., Grogin, N.A., Koekemoer, A., Malhotra, S., et al. "Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of Lya Emission at z ~ 4.4", 2011, ApJ, 735, 5.

15. Tran, K.-V., Papovich, C., Saintonge, A., Brodwin, M., Dunlop, J.S., Farrah, D., Finkelstein, K.D., Finkelstein, S.L., Lotz, J., McClure, R.J., Momcheva, I., & Willmer, C.N.A. "Reversal of Fortune: Confirmation of an Increasing Star Formation-Density Relation in a Cluster at z=1.62", 2010, ApJ, 719, 126.

16. Zheng, Z.Y., Wang, J.X., Finkelstein, S.L., Malhotra, S., Rhoads, J.E., & Finkelstein, K.D. "X-ray Properties of the z~4.5 Lya Emitters in the Chandra Deep Field South Region", 2010, ApJ, 718, 52.

17. Papovich, C., Momcheva, I., Willmer, C.N.A., Finkelstein, K.D., Finkelstein, S.L., Tran, K.-V., Brodwin, M., Dunlop, J.S., Farrah, D., et al. "A Spitzer-selected Galaxy Cluster at z=1.62", 2010, ApJ, 716, 1503.

18. Snider, K.D., Hester, J.J., Desch, S.J., Healy, K.R., & Bally, J. "Spitzer Observations of the HII Region NGC 2467: An Analysis of Triggered Star Formation", 2009, ApJ, 700, 506. 




President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award (2018-2019)

"Clock Award" - Services with Students with Disabilities (2018)

McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award (2017)


AST 309C - Birth of Stars and Planets

AST 301 - Introduction to Astronomy