Michel Fich

Michel Fich
Location: PHY 255
Phone: 519-888-4567 x32725


Dr. Fich is an astronomer specializing in studies of star formation, the interstellar medium, and the structure of galaxies. His recent research activities have focused on “small scale” formation studies of low and intermediate mass stars, circumstellar disks, and the formation of proto-solar systems.

Research Interests

  • Interstellar Medium
  • Star Formation
  • Structure of Galaxies
  • Instruments needed to carry out research in these areas
  • Astrophysics and Gravitation
  • Astronomy

Scholarly Research

A central part of Dr. Fich's research throughout his career has been the role of HII regions and the massive stars that power them. This was part of a study of dense clouds associated with HII regions and the massive stars that power them. Other projects include: Large field imaging at submillimeter wavelengths of nearby Galactic star forming areas (e.g. Orion, Taurus, rho Oph); modeling the radiative transfer, especially of water lines, in circumstellar disks, A study of the Initial Luminosity Function and the Initial Mass Function in the outer Galaxy., A study of a spectacular molecular bipolar outflow;, A long term program of observations of cold dust in elliptical galaxies;, Theoretical models of continuum emission in the infrared and submillimeter from dust grains, especially those in or near HII regions;, A program that combines millimeter, submillimeter, and near-infrared observations in an attempt to decouple the effects of various environmental properties on the progress of star formation in dense molecular cloud cores;, Measurements of the abundances of various elements in HII regions in the outer Galaxy;, A candidate Luminous Blue Variable in the outer parts of the Galaxy.


  • 1983 PhD Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
  • 1981 MSc Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
  • 1978 BSc Physics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Professional Associations

  • 2006-present Caltech-Cornell Atacama Telescope (CCAT) project, Canadian Co-Lead (with M. Halpern, UBC)
  • 2003-present European Space Agency, Co-Investigator and Canadian Lead, Far-InfraRed Interferometer in Space
  • 2001-present James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), Canadian Project Leader for SCUBA-2
  • 1999-present Herschel Space Observatory, Canadian Lead Co-Investigator for HIFI (HIgh-resolution spectrometer For the Infrared)

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics


  • PHYS 256 - Geometrical and Physical Optics
    • Taught in 2023
  • PHYS 270 - Astronomical Observations, Instrumentation and Data Analysis
    • Taught in 2020
  • PHYS 275 - Planets
    • Taught in 2019, 2022
  • SCI 238 - Introductory Astronomy
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Mairs, S., Johnstone, D., Kirk, H., Graves, S., Buckle, J., Beaulieu, S.F., Berry, D.S., Broekhoven-Fiene, H., Currie, M.J., Fich, M., Hatchell, J., Jenness, T., Mottram, J.C., Nutter, D., Pattle, K., Pineda, J.E., Salji, C., Di Francesco, J., Hogerheijde, M.R., Ward-Thompson D. The Gould Belt Survey: A quantitative comparison between SCUBA-2 Data Reduction Methods. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015) volume 454, pp. 2557-2579.
  • van Kempen, T.A., McCoey, C., Tisi, S., Johnstone, S., Fich, M. The origin of complex organic emission in NGC 2071. Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014) volume 569, pp. A53(1)-A53(9).
  • Sreenilayam, G., Fich, M., Ade, P., Bintley, D., Chapin, E.L., Chrysostomou, A., James S. Dunlop, J.S., Gibb, A,G., Greaves, J.S., Halpern, M., Holland, W.S., Ivison, R.J., Jenness, T., Robson, E.I., Scott, D. Cold Dust in Hot Regions, Astronomical Journal (2014) volume 147, pp 53-69.
  • Roelfsema, P. R., Helmich, F. P., Teyssier, D., Ossenkopf, V., Morris, P., Olberg, M., Shipman, R., Risacher, C., Akyilmaz, M., Assendorp, R., Avruch, I. M., Beintema, D., Biver, N., Boogert, A., Borys, C., Braine, J., Caris, M., Caux, E., Cernicharo, J., Coeur-Joly, O., Comito, C., de Lange, G., Delforge, B., Dieleman, P., Dubbeldam, L., de Graauw, Th., Edwards, K., Fich, M., Flederus, F., Gal, C., di Giorgio, A., Herpin, F., Higgins, D. R., Hoac, A., Huisman, R., Jarchow, C., Jellema, W., de Jonge, A., Kester, D., Klein, T., Kooi, J., Kramer, C., Laauwen, W., Larsson, B., Leinz, C., Lord, S., Lorenzani, A., Luinge, W., Marston, A., Martín-Pintado, J., McCoey, C., Melchior, M., Michalska, M., Moreno, R., Müller, H., Nowosielski, W., Okada, Y., Orleański, P., Phillips, T. G., Pearson, J., Rabois, D., Ravera, L., Rector, J., Rengel, M., Sagawa, H., Salomons, W., Sánchez-Suárez, E., Schieder, R., Schlöder, F., Schmülling, F., Soldati, M., Stutzki, J., Thomas, B., Tielens, A. G. G. M., Vastel, C., Wildeman, K., Xie, Q., Xilouris, M., Wafelbakker, C., Whyborn, N., Zaal, P., Bell, T., Bjerkeli, P., de Beck, E., Cavalié, T., Crockett, N. R., Hily-Blant, P., Kama, M., Kaminski, T., Leflóch, B., Lombaert, R., De Luca, M., Makai, Z., Marseille, M., Nagy, Z., Pacheco, S., van der Wiel, M. H. D., Wang, S. and Yıldız, U. In-orbit performance of Herschel-HIFI, Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), volume 537, A17(1)-A17(13).
  • Fich, M., Johnstone, D., van Kempen, T.A., McCoey, C., Fuente, A., Caselli, P., Kristensen, L.E., Plume, R., Cernicharo, J., Herczeg, G.J., van Dishoeck, E.F., Wampfler, S., Gaufre, P., Gill, J.J., Javadi, H., Justen, M., Laauwen, W., Luinge, W., Ossenkopf, V., Pearson, J., Bachiller, R., Baudry, A., Benedettini, M., Bergin, E., Benz, A.O., Bjerkeli, P., Blake, G., Bontemps, S., Braine, J., Bruderer, S., Codella, C., Daniel, F., di Giorgio, A.M., Dominik, C., Doty, S.D., Encrenaz, P., Giannini, T., Goicoechea, J.R., de Graauw, Th., Helmich, F., Herpin, F., Hogerheijde, M.R., Jacq, T., Jørgensen, J.K., Larsson, B., Lis, D., Liseau, R., Marseille, M., Melnick, G., Nisini, B., Olberg, M., Parise, B., Risacher, C., Santiago, J., Saraceno, P., Shipman, R., Tafalla, M., van der Tak, F., Visser, R., Wyrowski, F., and Yıldız, U.A. Herschel-PACS spectroscopy of the intermediate mass protostar NGC7129 FIRS 2. Astronomy and Astrophysics (Letters) (2010), volume 518, pp L86-90.

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