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Alison Coil

Professor, Physics
Ingrid and Joseph W. Hibben Chair
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
& Faculty Equity Advisor, Division of Physical Sciences

Office: SERF 424
Phone: (858) 822-3940

Related Websites

Personal web page
Faculty profile page


Professor Coil received her B.A. in astrophysics from Princeton University in 1997, her M.S. in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001, and her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. She was a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona before joining the faculty at the University of California at San Diego in 2008.

Research Interests

Observational astrophysics, with a focus on galaxy evolution, observational cosmology, and large-scale structure


Her current research interests focus on how galaxies form and evolve with time and how their properties are related to the large-scale structure in which they are embedded. In what way does the dark matter halo and environment of a galaxy drive its evolution? Do environmental processes affect the fueling of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies? What role does feedback from supernovae winds play in the star formation history of a galaxy? She is understanding these questions by measuring the spatial clustering of galaxies and AGN, as well as detecting large-scale outflowing galactic winds, at intermediate redshifts when the Universe was half its current age. Professor Coil works primarily with observational data, using multi-wavelength imaging and spectroscopy, and interpret my findings by comparing with numerical and analytic simulations. Most of the data she uses are taken at two of the largest optical telescopes in the world: the Keck telescope in Hawaii and the Magellan telescope in Chile.