Martha P. Haynes

Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Astronomy Emerita


Professor Haynes studies the large scale distribution of galaxies in the local universe and especially how local environment influences galaxy formation and evolution. She is current co-lead of the ALFALFA survey, using the multi-beam ALFA receiver on the 305-meter Arecibo telescope. ALFALFA aims to conduct a complete census of gas-bearing galaxies over a cosmologically significant volume. ALFALFA promises a wealthy dataset for the exploration of many issues in near-field cosmology and galaxy evolution studies, setting the stage for their extension to higher redshifts someday with the Square Kilometre Array. 

Studying the nature and characteristics of the nearby galaxy populations requires the acquisition of observational data with a variety of telescopes and instruments, incorporating both imaging and spectroscopic data at optical, infrared, and radio wavelengths to try to formulate a coherent picture of the problem under study.

ALFALFA serves as the basis for numerousgraduate student thesis projects and also engages the amazing Undergraduate ALFALFA team. For a more detailed summary of current research projects and who we are, take a look at the home page of the Cornell ExtraGalactic Group (EGG).

Research Focus

  • Observational Cosmology
  • ALFALFA: the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey


  • Haynes, M. P., and R. Giovanelli. "Large-Scale Structure in the Local Universe: The Pisces-Perseus Supercluster." In Large-Scale Motions in the Universe, V. C. Rubin and G. F. Coyne, eds. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), 45.
  • Roberts, M. S., and M. P. Haynes. "Variation of Physical Properties along the Hubble Sequence." Ann. Rev. Astron. Ap. 32, 115 (1994).
  • Haynes, M.P., Giovanelli, R. and Kent, B.R. "NGC 4254: An Act of Harassment uncovered by the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey." Astrophys. J. (Lett) 665, L19 (2007).
  • Haynes, M.P. "ALFALFA: The Search for (Almost) Dark Galaxies and their Space Distribution." Il Nuovo Cimento B, 122/09-11, 1109 (2008).
  • Haynes, M.P., Giovanelli, R., Martin, A.M., et al. 2011, "The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey: The α.40 HI Source Catalog, its Characteristics and their Impact on the Derivation of the HI Mass Function" Astro. J. 142, 170 (2011).

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