Annika Peter

Research & Interests


Graphical Guide to SM





Postdoctoral Scholar in Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-4575
+1 (609) 306-9749
annika.peter [at]

Assistant Professor
(on leave during the 2012-2013 academic year)
Department of Physics, Department of Astronomy
The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D. in Physics, Princeton University, 2008
    Thesis: Particle Dark Matter in the Solar System
    Advisor: Scott Tremaine
  • B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Astronomy
    (minors: geophysics, math), University of Washington, 2002
Edmonds, WA, 8/2012. Photo by Elias Peter

***UCI Astrostatistics Reading Group***

Welcome to my homepage! I am currently a McCue Fellow at UC Irvine. I am also an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University (go Buckeyes!), but am on leave during the 2012-2013 academic year, which I am spending at UC Irvine. My primary scientific interests are dark-matter phenomenology; precision estimates of the dark-matter distribution in the Solar System; "astrophysical" systematics in dark-matter experiments; solar-system and galactic dynamics; and galaxy evolution. I think the Milky Way is an incredibly interesting laboratory for dark-matter and galaxy-evolution physics. Prior to my employment at UCI, I was a postdoc at Caltech and a graduate student in the Physics Department at Princeton University, where I wrote my thesis on "Particle Dark Matter in the Solar System" under the supervision of Scott Tremaine (now at the Institute for Advanced Study). Prior to that, I was an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle, my hometown.

I am currently organizing the UCI Astrostatistics Reading Group (ARG). We're working our way through Robert Lupton's book Statistics in Theory and Practice and meet Wednesdays at 4:30 pm in FRH 2139. Come on over if you are interested in statistics in an astrophysical context! For those of you already involved, see the above link for problem assignments.

I am interested in getting the demographics in my particular STEM field to start looking a bit more like the US population (dare I say global?) as a whole, and have a particular (and selfish!) interested in boosting the participation of women. I am organizing events for the women scientists in the UCI Department of Physics and Astronomy, and previously helped organize potluck dinners for women astrophysicists at Caltech, athough the real driving force behind that was Gwen Rudie. Meg Urry's University of Chicago colloquium is an eye-opening introduction as to why demographics matter and how to change things for the better.

The UCI astrophysics seminar calendar may be found here, and the Joint Particle Seminar calendar is here.

If you happen to find yourself in Pasadena and are looking to learn some interesting astrophysics, a good place to start would be the astronomy events calendar, where you will find a listing of the week's astro talks in town.

If you happen to find yourself in Princeton, you can find a list of interesting talks to attend on the IAS Astrophysics Seminar Calendar.

OSU has many delightful astrophysics-related seminars during the week. The OSU Department of Astronomy is especially renown for its lively daily Astro Coffee series--I would *highly* recommend you check it out if you are in Columbus.

When I am not doing science, I enjoy playing with my cats Neville and Bellatrix, traveling with my husband Chris (most recently to Hawaii--there's a reason people love to vacation there, it is awesome), reading up on anything and everything (recent books: Charles Mann's 1493 and an assortment of Scandinavian crime novels), and hitting up local restaurants with Chris and assorted TAPIR postdocs. I also like to play with my nephew Eddie when we are up in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike many Seattle natives, I actually like living in southern California, even if the coffee-shop scene here is terrible. Upon our move to Columbus, I plan to explore the local coffee scene and the many tasty flavors of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, which were recently featured in Time magazine.