Briana Indahl headshot, female, blonde wavy hair, pink shirt, smile.

Briana Indahl

Research Scientist at the University of Colorado/Boulder

Originally From

West Salem, Wisconsin

What Inspired Me to Pursue a Career as an Astrophysics Experimentalist

I was not aware that being an astronomer was a career I could pursue when I started college. It was when I started taking physics classes out of curiosity in my second year that I discovered my fascination with how the universe worked and a passion for learning all I could about it. I was encouraged by an astronomy professor in my third year to explore research opportunities in the department, and fortunately, I found an opening in an instrument lab in the astronomy department, working on a near-infrared spectrograph for the Southern African Large Telescope. I was lucky to receive incredible mentorship from the instrument PI, Dr. Marsha Wolf, and the project systems engineer, Don Thielman. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in research where I would not only get to explore the mysteries of the universe but also learn how to develop novel instrumentation to further discoveries in my own field.


  • B.S. in Physics and Astrophysics with a minor in Mathematics, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics, University of Texas at Austin 

Research Focus

My research is focused on UV instrumentation, integral field spectroscopy, and utilizing the novel capabilities of the instruments I work on to advance my own research in galaxy feedback.

What This Fellowship Means to Me

Being awarded this fellowship marks an important milestone in my career as a researcher, where I get to transition from working under more senior scientists on their projects and ideas to beginning to define the direction of my own research and lead my own projects.