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Maura McLaughlin, Ph.D.



West Virginia University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
White Hall G59
P.O. Box 6315
Morgantown, WV 26506-6315

Phone: 304-293-4812

Visit the WVU Center for Astrophysics


My main research interests involve studying neutron stars and their environments through radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations. Neutron stars are amazing physical laboratories for general relativity, studies of the interstellar medium, high-energy particle and plasma physics, and studies of stellar evolution. A significant research aim, as chair of the NANOGrav collaboration, is to use neutron stars to detect gravitational waves through timing an array of ultra-precise millisecond pulsars. I am PI on an NSF PIRE (Partnerships for International Research and Education) award for the International Pulsar Timing Array for gravitational wave detection. My work with the Pulsar Search Collaboratory involves West Virginia high-school students in our research.

WVU is uniquely placed for students to use the Green Bank Telescope in nearby Green Bank, West Virginia, the largest fully steerable dish in the world. Some of the other instruments used in WVU research are radio telescopes such as Arecibo, Parkes, VLA, ATCA, and GMRT, in addition to X-ray satellites such as XMM and Chandra, and the Fermi gamma-ray telescope. Some research involves developing techniques for next-generation radio telescopes such as the SKA.

Please contact me if you are interested in undergraduate research or graduate study in our group!


Ph.D. Cornell University, 2001 B.S. The Pennsylvania State University, 1994

Awards and Honors

2009 Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award

2008 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship


WVU hosts American Physical Society Mid-Atlantic Meeting

Professors Alan Bristow and Aldo Romero led the organization of this meeting in Morgantown in Fall 2015.

Read the Article


Two Faculty honored with NSF CAREER awards

Professors Cheng Cen and Ned Flagg are the latest in a line-up of WVU recipients of this prestigious early-career award.

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Gravitational Waves Detected!

Prof. Sean McWilliams, assistant professor in our Department and Prof. Zach Etienne in WVU Math and adjunct in Physics and Astronomy are part of an international collaboration that has detected gravitational waves!

WVU Press Release