Olivia Cooper

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

UT Austin Astronomy

About me

Hey! I’m Olivia (she/her), an NSF fellow and fourth year PhD candidate at UT Austin. I am a galaxy observer, and my research focuses specifically on massive galaxies and their role within galaxy evolution in the first two billion years. I graduated from Smith College in May 2020 with degrees in Astronomy and Physics and a concentration in Climate Change.

In addition to my research on galaxies, I am also a science writer and communicator. I’ve written for Astrobites for the past three years and co-founded the Climate Change Committee, which covers topics connecting astronomy and climate change and hosts Earth Week x Astrobites each year. I also am co-chair of the Outreach Committee of COSMOS-Web, which aims to provide resources to other astronomers and engage the public in the team’s efforts. These endeavors are all part of my personal mission to meld together writing, climate advocacy, and astronomy throughout my career.


  • Early massive galaxy evolution
  • High-z dusty starbursts
  • Bright beacons of reionization


  • PhD in Astronomy, 2025 (expected)

    UT Austin

  • BA in Astronomy & Physics, 2020

    Smith College

First-author Publications


  • ocooper@utexas.edu
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Astronomy, Austin, TX, 78712, United States