Varsha P. Kulkarni


Brief CV

Full ADS Listing


Tel.:   (803)-777-6293
FAX: (803)-777-3065
Office: Jones PSC, 505
Mailing Address:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Univ. of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Dr. Varsha P. Kulkarni
Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of South Carolina

B.Tech., Engineering Physics, Indian Inst. of Technology, Bombay, 1989 
MS, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Chicago, 1990
PhD, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Chicago, 1996 
(Also, AURA predoctoral scholar at Space Telescope Science Institute)
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Arizona, 1996-1999
Assistant Professor, Clemson University, 1999-2000
Assistant Professor, Univ. of South Carolina, 2000-2005
Associate Professor, Univ. of South Carolina, 2005-2010
Professor, Univ. of South Carolina, 2010-present
Interim Department Chair, Univ. of South Carolina, 2012-2013

Research Interests: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology, especially Intergalactic and Circumgalactic Matter, Galaxy Evolution, Quasar Absorption Systems, Cosmic Chemical Evolution, Dust in Distant Galaxies, Polar Ring Galaxies. 
Our group uses primarily optical, infrared and ultraviolet astronomical instruments on many state-of-the-art telescopes on ground and in space. These include the Keck, Subaru, and Gemini telescopes in Hawaii, the Very Large Telescope and Magellan telescopes in Chile, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory, etc.

The overall goal of our research is to better understand the chemical and structural evolution of galaxies. For this purpose, we are investigating the cosmic evolution of the chemical elements, the evolution of stars, gas, and dust in galaxies, and the implications for cosmology. 

PLEASE CLICK HERE for more details on our group’s research activities.

Research Funding: NSF and NASA. 
Publications and Presentations: 
Approx. 150 research articles and conference papers/abstracts  
Approx. 195 talks at conferences and institutions 
Please click here for the full listing on SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS).
Please click here for a list of selected publications.

Honors Introductory Astronomy SCHC 115
Descriptive Astronomy I, II, III ASTR 111, 211, 311
Advanced Observational Astronomy I, II ASTR 533, 534
Extragalactic Astronomy ASTR 599
Extragalactic Astrophysics PHYS 731
Astrophysics of Interstellar and Intergalactic Matter PHYS 755A
Properties and Evolution of Galaxies PHYS 755G

Research Student Supervision: 
Since 2000: 17 graduate and 24 undergraduate students supervised. 
Since 2008: 4 PhD and 2 MS graduates supervised to completion.

Interim Chair, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Univ. of South Carolina, 2012-2013
Vice-President, Southern Atlantic Coast Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, 2011-2012
President, Southern Atlantic Coast Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, 2012-2013
Founder and organizer, Meeting of Astronomers in South Carolina 
Advisor for SC State Museum’s Observatory/Planetarium/Theatre
Reviewer for several Astrophysics journals and funding agencies
USC Faculty Welfare Committee (Committee Chair, 2011-2012)
USC Faculty Budget Committee (Committee Chair, 2013-2015)
Numerous public talks/ interviews for local media/ outreach activities Astronomy_Group.html
Selected Publications