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Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil

Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil is searching for the most peculiar objects in the Universe. Her research has led to a discovery of an extremely rare galaxy with a unique circular structure, which is now commonly referred to as Burçin’s Galaxy. Her work has provided the first description of a double-ringed elliptical galaxy, challenging current theories and assumptions about how the universe works and how galaxies start and evolve.

Mutlu-Pakdil earned her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, and her undergraduate degree is from Bilkent University in Turkey. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona and a 2018 TED Fellow. She spends most of her time searching for the hierarchical structure at the scale of dwarf galaxies as a novel test of the Cold Dark Matter paradigm. She uses data gathered in a large range of wavelengths from premier telescopes worldwide and wants to learn more about how the Universe came to be the way it is today.

CNN, Science Daily, Astronomy Magazine, Independent and MPR News have featured Mutlu-Pakdil’s findings, among many others. Damon Brown wrote in his regular Inc. Magazine online column: “Many organizations are dedicated to filling the STEM pipeline with more girls and women. Others are supporting the cause by being an example. TED Fellow Burçin is representing by being one of the most notable astrophysicists today.”

3 Things We Love About Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil:

  • She has been named an honoree of the 2018 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the World
  • In 2017, she was given the Linda Larson Woman of the Year award
  • Mutlu-Pakdil grew up in Turkey, where she loved physics and the night sky. She turned this love into a career!

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