Professor to Help Lead University of California Observatories

Gillian Wilson named interim deputy director of unit that oversees world- renowned observatories

headshot of Gillian Wilson

Gillian Wilson, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Gillian Wilson, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, was recently named interim deputy director of UC Observatories.

The UC Observatories is a multi-campus astronomical research unit, with headquarters on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The unit operates the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, and technical labs at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA. UC Observatories is also a managing partner of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the center for UC participation in the Thirty-Meter Telescope, a proposed astronomical observatory in Hawaii with an extremely large telescope.

This is the first time a non-UC Santa Cruz faculty member has served in the deputy director role. Wilson will serve in this position until the deputy director search process has been completed.

The appointment comes just months after Wilson was named chair of the University of California Observatories Advisory Committee. She is serving a two-year term. She will continue in that role while serving as interim deputy director.

Wilson has been a faculty member at UC Riverside since 2007. She has served as a member of the UC Observatories Advisory Committee since 2014. Her research interests include clusters of galaxies, galaxy evolution, and cosmology.

Wilson will continue to be based at UC Riverside, but spend several days a months at UC Santa Cruz.

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