The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship to Charlie Conroy, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

The prestigious two-year fellowship includes a grant of $50,000 to support Conroy's research, which focuses on how galaxies form and evolve. The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

In his research, Conroy has approached the problem of galaxy formation with a combination of observational, theoretical, and simulation-based techniques in collaboration with dozens of researchers around the world. "I am interested in extragalactic archeology--that is, understanding how galaxies formed and evolved by studying in great detail their present-day stellar populations," he said.

Conroy has been working on new ways of analyzing the light emitted by a galaxy to extract information about its history. Properties such as the abundance of different chemical elements in a galaxy and the relative numbers of stars of different masses can provide clues to the galaxy's history of star formation and how it was assembled over cosmic time.

Conroy earned a B.A. (with honors) in physics and astrophysics at UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in astrophysics at Princeton University. He joined the UCSC faculty in 2012.

Established in 1934, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance.