Dr Andrew Howell leads the supernova group at the Las Cumbres Observatory and is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an undergraduate he went to the University of Florida, and got his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. After that he became a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he helped to confirm the acceleration of the universe, for which his mentor, Saul Perlmutter was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. After that he moved to the University of Toronto, where he helped make the best measurements of the Dark Energy driving the acceleration of the universe.
Andy is also the Principal Investigator of the Global Supernova Project, a worldwide collaboration to observe 1000 supernovae more intensely than has ever before been achieved. He’s also been named to the list of the highest cited researchers in the world according to Clarivate Analytics for the past two years. He is a co-author on more than 250 scientific papers, and has been instrumental in the discovery of several new classes of supernovae, including explosions brighter and dimmer than previously thought possible. His group co-discovered the first kilonova, a merger of two neutron stars, and helped to determine that they are the source of the heaviest elements in the universe like gold and platinum. This was widely heralded as the biggest scientific discovery of 2017, and Andy was selected by the National Science Foundation as one of a handful of scientists to make the official announcement in Washington, D.C.
Andy also appears on and hosts radio and television shows about science for outlets such as National Geographic, The History Channel, and the BBC. He’s also an accredited film critic, writing for such sites as Film Threat and Ain’t It Cool News. He’s co-creator, writer, and host of the show Science Vs. Cinema, which talks to both scientists and the cast and crew of films about the science portrayed in them. He’s been a scientific consultant for books, comic books, and TV shows, He regularly gives public talks about science or the science in film all over the world.