The Ohio State University logo

Paul Martini
Professor of Astronomy
The Ohio State University

OSU Astronomy Department Logo






I am a Professor in the Department of Astronomy at The Ohio State University. I am also the Vice Chair of the Department.

My research interests are presently focused on topics related to observational cosmology and instrumentation, particularly for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). This is a major new instrument for the Mayall 4-m telescope that is conducting a redshift survey of over 35 million galaxies and quasars to study the origin of cosmic acceleration. I am particularly interested in measurements of the Lyman Alpha Forest with high-redshift quasars. DESI is supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, and I am also grateful for their support of my research.

My other interests include the formation and evolution of galaxies and the evolution of supermassive black holes, particularly quasars. My main research in this area combines data from the Dark Energy Survey and the OzDES Project to measure the masses of supermassive black holes via the reverberation mapping technique. I am also passionate about increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the DESI collaboration, in my field, and in society.

Some of the main questions I have addressed in my earlier research are how AGN are fueled, the lifetime of AGN, the evolution of AGN in clusters of galaxies, and the interplay between dust, molecular gas, and star formation in nearby galaxies. My previous instrumentation projects include the PANIC near-infrared camera for Magellan, the MMIRS near-infrared multi-slit spectrograph for the MMT and Magellan telescopes, the OSMOS multi-object spectrograph for MDM, and the KOSMOS and COSMOS spectrographs for Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, respectively. I also served as the Instrument Scientist for DESI from early in the construction phase through the start of the main survey (2016-2021).

Mini Bio

I am originally from the great city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I graduated from Central High School and Temple University (with a year studying abroad at the Universität Hamburg).

After college I attended graduate school at The Ohio State University and enjoyed postdoctoral fellowships as a Carnegie Fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and as a Clay Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Here is my Academic Genealogy.

Twitter: @martini_paul


Astronomy 8824: Numerical and Statistical Methods in Astrophysics [Fall 2021] + Material on github

Select Previous Courses

Astronomy 1142: Black Holes [Spring 2014, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2018, Spring 2020]
Astronomy 8824: Numerical and Statistical Methods in Astrophysics [Autumn 2019]
Astronomy 5830: Observed Properties of Astronomical Systems [Autumn 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017]
Astronomy 4194: Essential Radio Astronomy [May 2014]
Astronomy 869: Observational Cosmology and Active Galactic Nuclei [Winter Quarter 2011]
Astronomy 161: Introduction to Solar System Astronomy [Winter Quarter 2012]
Astronomy 890: Astronomical Instrumentation [Spring Quarter 2008]

Review Articles

Why does Low-Luminosity AGN Fueling Remain an Unsolved Problem?
invited review in "The Interplay among Black Holes, Stars and ISM in Galactic Nuclei," Proc. IAU 222 (Gramado, Brazil), eds. Th. Storchi Bergmann, L.C. Ho, H.R. Schmitt, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press), 235 [pdf]
QSO Lifetimes
invited review in "Carnegie Observatories Astrophysics Series, Vol. 1: Coevolution of Black Holes and Galaxies," ed. L. C. Ho (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press), 170 [pdf]

Select Recent Publications

OzDES Reverberation Mapping Programs: The first Mg II lags from five years of monitoring
Zhefu Yu, Paul Martini, Andrew Penton, et al., 2021, MNRAS, in press [ADS]

UV background fluctuations and three-point correlations in the large-scale clustering of the Lyman α forest
Suk Sien Tie, David H. Weinberg, Paul Martini et al. 2019, MNRAS, 487, 5347 [ADS]

Classification of Broad Absorption Line Quasars with a Convolutional Neural Network
Zhiyuan Guo and Paul Martini, 2019, ApJ, 879, 72 [ADS]

Overview of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument
Paul Martini, et al. 2018, Proc. SPIE, 10702 [SPIE | arxiv]

Publications via ADS Library and


Astronomy Department's Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Useful Astronomical Data
Mask Design Software: MMS for MODS and OMS for OSMOS
Diversity and Inclusion Slides [DJC on 13 Nov 2018]
Code of Conduct Discussion Slides [DJC on 18 Sept 2019]

PhD Program in Astronomy at the Ohio State University

We offer a unique PhD program with a very strong emphasis on research. Our graduating students have typically authored or co-authored 7-12 refereed journal articles by the time they complete the program, in addition to numerous conference papers and abstracts. Our 1st- and 2nd-year students are already active researchers, publishing papers, attending conferences, giving talks, going on observing runs, and working in the instrument lab. Click here for more information.

Last updated: 2 September 2021