Monica Gallegos-Garcia


  • 2018 - 2024
    PhD Candidate, Astronomy
    Northwestern University
  • 2014-2018
    Bachelors in Science, Physics (Astrophysics)
    University of California, Santa Cruz

First-Author Publications

  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Angular Momentum Loss During Stable Mass Transfer onto a Compact objec-the Effect of Mass Loss via Accretion Disk Winds, submitted to ApJ, arXiv:2308.13146
  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Evolutionary Origins of Binary Neutron Star Mergers-Effects of Common Envelope Efficiency and Metallicity, ApJ, 995, 133
  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Do High-spin High-mass X-Ray Binaries Contribute to the Population of Merging Binary Black Holes?, 2022 ApJL, 938, 19
  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Binary Black Hole Formation with Detailed Modeling-Stable Mass Transfer Leads to Lower Merger Rates, 2021 ApJ, 922, 110
  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Winds in Star Clusters Drive Kolmogorov Turbulence, 2020 ApJL, 899, L30
  • Gallegos-Garcia, M et al. Tidal Disruptions of Main Sequence Stars of Varying Mass and Age-Inferences from the Composition of the Fallback Material, 2018 ApJ, 857, 109

Honors and Awards

  • 2023
    Northwestern Presidential Fellow
    Highest honor Northwestern University bestows upon a graduate student. Selection for this distinction represents esteemed regard for the student and their work to date, their demonstrated leadership at Northwestern, and future potential
  • 2022
    Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society Inductee
    Awarded to recognize outstanding scholarly achievement and promote diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.
  • 2019
    Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
    Awarded to individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.
  • 2018
    Dean's Undergraduate Award
    For outstanding achievements in Astrophysics major and senior thesis.
  • 2018
    Marilyn Stevens Memorial Scholarship
    For academic excellence and any outstanding contribution made to the Physics Department.
  • 2018
    Highest Honors in Major
    Honors and Highest Honors awarded to no more than 15 percent of graduating class.

Research Experience

  • Nov 2022 - present
    Research advisor to Ilia Kiato
    Northwestern Univeristy
    • We are using detailed stellar and binary simulations to explore the formation of neutron star - black hole binaries.
  • Sept 2018 - present
    Graduate Student
    Northwestern Univeristy
    • Developing and implementing detailed stellar and binary evolution models and simulations to study compact object populations and merger progenitors. I plan to focus on improving binary evolution models to advance our understanding of how compact object mergers occur in the Universe.
  • Summer 2018
    Summer Research Fellow at Banneker and Aztlan Institute
    Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
    • Studied stellar wind interactions in a star cluster using the 3D hydrodynamic simulation FLASH code. Specifically interested in the evolution of turbulence and kinetic energy injection scales in our simulations.
  • Nov 2015 - Aug 2018
    Undergraduate Research Fellow at the UCSC Supercomputer Lab for Undergraduates
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    • Implemented an analytical formalism to study the element abundance variations of the fallback material during tidal disruption events of main sequence stars of differing masses and ages.
  • Summer 2017
    Summer Research Fellow at Banneker and Aztlan Institute
    Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
    • Studied stellar wind interactions in different types of star clusters using the 3D hydrodynamic simulation FLASH code.
  • Summer 2016
    Lamat Summer Research Fellow
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    • Developed python code to analytically describe the accretion rate of tidal disruption events for stars of varying polytropic index.