Physics & Astronomy Chair Announcement

The announcement of Professor Pauline Barmby's five-year appointment as Chair for the Department of Physics and Astronomy from Matt Davison, Dean of Science, follows below:


To: Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Chairs, Associate
Deans, and Staff Leaders, Faculty of Science
Re: Chair of Physics & Astronomy

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that, at the unanimous recommendation of the Physics & Astronomy Chair
Selection committee, Professor Pauline Barmby has accepted the role of Chair of our Department of
Physics & Astronomy, for a five-year term effective July 1, 2022.

Pauline earned her PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University in 2001. After a six-year stint at the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, she accepted a faculty position at Western in 2007. Pauline was
promoted to Full Professor in 2019 and was honored as Western Distinguished University Professor in

Pauline has an active research program in extragalactic astronomy with significant side interests in
astroinformatics. She has served her department as Associate Chair (Undergraduate) throughout the
recent pandemic, and has also previously served our Faculty as Associate Dean (Graduate) and as acting

Pauline has a vision for the department to be recognized across campus for innovative teaching and
excellent students, and across the country as one of the top 10 Physics & Astronomy departments.
Furthermore, she is committed to a departmental culture of equity, inclusion and transparency.

I would like to thank the members of the Physics & Astronomy Chair Selection Committee: Margaret
Campbell-Brown, Sarah Gallagher, Els Peeters, Eugene Wong, Stella Constas, Sean Shieh, Margaret
McGlynn, and Linda Miller, for their diligent work on this important committee.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Barmby on her selection, and in thanking her for being willing
to serve our Western Physics & Astronomy community and the leadership team of Western’s Faculty of
Science in this crucial capacity.

Matt Davison