• David Pooley was born and raised in New Orleans and spent a decade in Boston, a few years in San Francisco, and nearly a year in Madison.  Of all the places he’s lived, central Texas is his favorite. 

    Pooley’s research focuses on extreme and energetic astrophysical phenomena, studied primarily with the most energetic forms of light – X-rays and gamma rays – and supplemented by observations with radio, infrared, and optical light.  He enjoys working with undergraduate research students on the reduction and analysis of data from NASA’s premiere satellites, including the Hubble Space TelescopeChandra X-ray ObservatoryFermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and Swift Gamma-ray Burst Mission.  Pooley also goes on several observing runs each year at McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, and he is in the process of refurbishing, automating, and roboticizing the 16” telescope atop Marrs McLean.

    • Ph.D. in Physics, MIT, 2002  
    • S.B. in Physics, MIT, 1998
    • S.B. in Mathematics, MIT, 1998
    • Comerford, J.M., Pooley, D, Barrows, R.S., Greene, J.E., Zakamska, N.L., Madejski, G.M., Cooper, M.C., Merger-driven Fueling of Active Galactic Nuclei: Six Dual and Offset AGNs Discovered with Chandra and Hubble Space Telescope Observations, 2015, Astrophysical Journal, 806, 219
    • Pooley,D., Rappaport,S., Blackburne,J.A., Schechter,P.L. & Wambsganss,J., X-Ray And Optical Flux Ratio Anomalies In Quadruply Lensed Quasars.II. Mapping the Dark Matter Content in Elliptical Galaxies, 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 744, 111
    • Pooley, D., Globular Cluster X-ray Sources, 2010, Publications of the National Academy of Science, 107, 7164
    • Pooley, D., Blackburne, J.A., Rappaport, S., & Schechter, P.L., X-Ray and Optical Flux Ratio Anomalies in Quadruply Lensed Quasars: I. Zooming in on Quasar Emission Regions, 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 691, 19
    • Pooley, D., Lewin, W.H.G., Anderson, S.F., Baumgaurdt, H., Filippenko, A.V., Gaensler, B.M., Homer, L., Hut, P., Kaspi, V.M., Makino, J., Margon, B., McMillan, S., Portegies Zwart, S., van der Klis, M., & Verbunt, F., Dynamical Formation of Close Binary Systems in Globular Clusters, 2003, Astrophysical Journal, 591, L131 
    • Supermassive black holes (quasars)
    • Exploding stars (supernovae)
    • Dense stellar systems (globular clusters and open clusters)
    • Dark matter
    • Ultraluminous X-ray sources
    • Accreting young stars (FUor-type objects)
    • Solar System Astronomy
    • Stellar and Extragalactic Astronomy
    • Observational Astronomy
    • Modern Physics
    • Astrophysics
    • Newtonian Mechanics
    • Electricity and Magnetism  


    Pooley has been PI  or Observing Co-I on 67 successful Chandra proposals, 4 successful Hubble proposals, 10 successful XMM-Newton proposals, 1 successful Fermi proposal, 7 successful McDonald Observatory proposals, and 2 successful Magellan proposals.  He has also received a NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program grant and a Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement. 

    These proposals and awards have resulted in over $4.2 million in funding to date.


    • 2014 Cottrell College Science Award
    • 2004 Chandra Postdoctoral Fellowship
    • 2000 William W. Buechner Prize for Excellence in Teaching
    • 1998 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship