Michael Balogh

Michael Balogh
Location: PHY 254
Phone: 519-888-4567 x47518


Professor Balogh's research uses the world’s largest telescopes to study the physical properties of distant galaxies. Through spectroscopy we can learn about the distances, ages, chemical composition and star formation histories of these galaxies. As the light we observe from more distant objects originated at earlier times, by observing ever more distant systems we can reconstruct the changes that occur over time to populations of galaxies. His particular expertise lies in trying to understand the source of the puzzling link between galaxy growth rates and surrounding large-scale structure, many orders of magnitude larger than the galaxies themselves.

Research Interests

  • Star Formation in Galaxy Clusters and Groups
  • Stellar Populations in Galaxy Clusters and Groups
  • Properties of the Intracluster Medium
  • Galaxy Formation
  • Astrophysics and Gravitation
  • Most of the mass in our Universe is made up of dark matter, which interacts only gravitationally. Gravity causes this dark matter to form larger and larger structures as time goes on, leading to a characteristic filamentary distribution of mass that is reflected in the large scale distribution of galaxies today. This structure is the foundation on which galaxies form and evolve; but the growth of galaxies is a much more complex process that involves exchanges of vast amount of energies over large spatial and time scales. Professor Balogh uses the the world's largest telescopes to measure how the mass, age and chemical composition of galaxies changes with time, and how that relates to the surrounding large scale dark matter structure. This requires careful photometric and spectroscopic measurements at optical and near-infrared wavelengths; interpreting the data requires both the development of toy models to identify the driving parameters, as well as detailed comparison with numerical simulations to understand the interplay between competing physical processes.


  • 1999 PhD Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC Canada
  • 1995 BSc Honours Mathematics and Physics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON Canada


  • 2007-2011, Early Researcher Award, University of Waterloo

Professional Associations

  • Member, International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • Member, Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)
  • 2014-2015 CASCA Long Range Plan Midterm Review Committee
  • 2011-present CASCA Long Range Plan Implementation Committee
  • 2015 Gemini-CONICYT Fund allocation committee
  • 2009-2015 Gemini Observatory Board of Directors. Chair from 2012
  • 2009-2012 CASCA Awards Committee
  • 2009-2011 Canada Undergrad Physics Conference Committee
  • 2010-present Gemini Board of Directors (Chair from 2012)
  • 2010-present CASCA, Awards Committee
  • 2007-2009 Canadian Time Allocation Committee (CTAC), Member
  • 2008-2009 CTAC Extragalactic Panel, Chair
  • 2006-2009 Optical and Infrared Astronomy in Canada (CASCA subcommittee), Chair
  • 2005-2007 Subaru Time Allocation Committee, Member

Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics


  • PHYS 270 - Astronomical Observations, Instrumentation and Data Analysis
    • Taught in 2019
  • PHYS 275 - Planets
    • Taught in 2020, 2021
  • PHYS 474 - Galaxies
    • Taught in 2019, 2020

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

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Balogh, Michael L., McGee, Sean L., Mok, Angus, Wilman, David J., Finoguenov, Alexis, Bower, Richard G., Mulchaey, John S., Parker, Laura C., Tanaka, Masayuki. The GEEC2 spectroscopic survey of Galaxy groups at 0.8 < z < 1. MNRAS (3), volume 443, pp. 2679-2694.
  • McGee, Sean L., Balogh, Michael L., Wilman, David J., Bower, Richard G., Mulchaey, John S., Parker, Laura C., Oemler, Augustus Jr. The Dawn of the Red: star formation histories of group galaxies over the past 5 billion years. MNRAS (2), volume 413, pp 996-1012.
  • McGee, Sean L., Balogh, Michael L., Bower, Richard G., Font, Andreea S., McCarthy, Ian G. The accretion of galaxies into groups and clusters. MNRAS (2), volume 400, pp 937-950.
  • Balogh, Michael L., McCarthy, Ian G., Bower, Richard G., Eke, Vincent R. Testing cold dark matter with the hierarchical build-up of stellar light. MNRAS (2), volume 385, pp 1003-1014.
  • Gilbank, David G., Balogh, Michael L. Tracking down a critical halo mass for killing galaxies through the growth of the red sequence. MNRAS (1), volume 385, pp L116-L119.