Skip to main content View Site Map

D.J. Pisano, Ph.D.

D.J. Pisano


Associate Professor
West Virginia University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
White Hall G65
135 Willey St.
P.O. Box 6315
Morgantown, WV 26506-6315

Phone: 304-293-4886

Visit the WVU Center for Astrophysics


I am an astronomer interested in how galaxies form and evolve. I use radio telescopes around the world primarily to study neutral hydrogen (HI) in our own Milky Way and other, more distant galaxies.

Projects I am actively working on include studying the high-velocity clouds (HVCs) around the Milky Way using the Galactic All-Sky Survey (GASS), a recently completed HI survey of the southern sky using the Parkes radio telescope.

I am also looking for low mass HI clouds and diffuse HI emission associated with nearby galaxies, such as NGC 2997, and in groups of galaxies that may be analogous to the HVCs seen around the Milky Way and may be sources of fuel for future star formation in galaxies.

Another aspect of my research involves radio studies of luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs). These are prolifically star-forming galaxies that are common in the distant universe, but are exceedingly rare today. I am part of an international collaboration studying LCBGs in the local universe in order to better constrain the current nature and evolutionary fate of LCBGs in the distant universe.

Finally, I am involved in two projects to observe HI in galaxies in the distant universe. These observations will reveal, for the first time, how the HI content of galaxies has evolved over the past eight billion years.

For my research I have used the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, the Parkes radio telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Australia, and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India as well as a few others. I am part of two teams of astronomers who have been granted 11,000 hours of time on MeerKAT, the South African Square Kilometer Array pathfinder telescope.

Please contact me if you are interested in doing undergraduate or graduate research in my group.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001 B.S., Yale University, 1996

Ask_an_Expert Alan Bristow

“Ask an Expert” with Professor Alan Bristow

Professor Alan Bristow was featured in the inaugural “Ask an Expert” article in the Fall 2014 edition of WVU Magazine, where he answered questions about the future of photonic devices and the study of physics.

Read the Article

James Smith

Professor James Smith, WVU Alum

James Smith, Adjunct Professor at Emory University, (B.S. ‘64, M.S. ‘66, Ph.D. ‘69 in Physics) talks about his career and his time at WVU.

Read More


Mysterious Radio Bursts, Sent From Deep Space

Reporting in Science, researchers including WVU physics post-docs Sam Bates and Lina Levin write of discovering four radio bursts from outer space. WVU professors Duncan Lorimer and Maura McLaughlin were on the team that detected the first such explosion in 2007. On NPR’s Science Friday, Dr. Lorimer discusses what could be causing these radio signals, such as evaporating black holes, an idea proposed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s.

Listen to Science Friday Episode