Ray Garner

Ray Garner

TAMU Astronomy Postdoctoral Researcher

Texas A&M University


Hello! My name is Ray Garner and I am a postdoc in the Astronomy Group at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. I am working with Dr. Rob Kennicutt on the Star formation, Ionized Gas, and Nebular Abundances Legacy Survey (SIGNALS), a survey of HII regions across ~60 galaxies. You can check out the survey paper here.

Before I arrived in College Station, I was a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio working with Prof. Chris Mihos on a detailed analysis of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) and its small satellite group using the deep, wide-field, narrowband imaging capabilities of the Burrell Schmidt 24/36-inch telescope.

Briefly, my thesis utilizes narrowband images of Hα, Hβ, [OIII]λλ4959,5007, and [OII]λλ3726,3729. These images allowed me to search the entire M101 Group for outlying, intragroup star-forming regions (finding none), measure the oxygen abundance gradient of M101 (suggesting a broken gradient at $R_{25}$), and constrain stellar ages throughout the entire disk (finding a very dynamic spiral pattern). You can read more about that research below, or click here.

Before attending CWRU, I was a student at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina where I graduated with a B.S. in Physics, Summa Cum Laude. While there, I completed research in general relativity with Dr. Bill Baker (ret.). During the summer of 2017, I attended a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. There, I worked on ionized gas kinematics of nearby, low-mass galaxies with the late Dr. Liese van Zee.

  • Galaxy evolution
  • Star formation
  • Nebular diagnostics
  • Spiral structure
  • PhD in Astronomy, 2023

    Case Western Reserve University

  • BS in Physics, 2018

    Furman University

Recent Publications

(2024). Implications on star formation rate indicators from H II regions and diffuse ionized gas in the M101 Group. In MNRAS.


(2023). Spectroscopic Follow-up of Two Star-forming Objects in the M101 Field. In RNAAS.


(2023). Investigating the Galactic Evolution of M101 with Deep Narrowband Imaging. PhD Thesis.

PDF Cite

(2022). Deep Narrowband Photometry of the M101 Group: Strong-line Abundances of 720 HII Regions. In ApJ.


(2022). Determining the Timescale over Which Stellar Feedback Drives Turbulence in the Interstellar Medium: A Study of Four Nearby Dwarf Irregular Galaxies. In AJ.