Dr. Patrick Durrell


Patrick Durrell Professor of Astronomy

Patrick Durrell is an astronomer and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and is also the Director of the Ward Beecher Planetarium.

Dr. Durrell’s research involves studies of the formation of galaxies through photometric studies of stars and globular clusters both within and outside of galaxies, making use of imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other large ground-based telescopes, including the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Specific research includes:

  • The distribution and chemical composition of globular clusters surrounding galaxies, as well as searching for globular clusters that lie in the space between the galaxies.
  • Intracluster stars – stars that formed within galaxies, but have since been gravitationally extracted from galaxies, and are now part of intergalactic space.
  • Photometric studies of stars and star clusters of colliding galaxies and in dwarf galaxies in nearby galaxy groups and clusters.
  • Stellar populations of nearby galaxies (eg. M81, M101, M31), specifically the luminous red-giant populations in these galaxies, in order to look at the formation and subsequent evolution of these galaxies.
  • Searching for dwarf galaxies and extremely low-surface-brightness (LSB) galaxies in nearby galaxy clusters. Dr. Durrell has been a part of the massive NGVS (Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey) project since 2009, and the MATLAS project since 2012.

He is also actively involved in science outreach through YSU’s Ward Beecher Planetarium, and through CosmoQuest. He is also interested in incorporating recent astronomical data into the fulldome, immersive environment of planetariums.

Dr. Durrell received his PhD in Physics in 1996 from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. He held postdoctoral and teaching positions at the University of Waterloo, Case Western Reserve University, the University of British Columbia, and Penn State University, before coming to YSU in 2004.

Patrick Durrell research images

Selected Publications

Galaxies at the Extreme: Ultra-diffuse Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, Mihos, J.C. et al. 2015, ApJL, 809, 21

The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey. I. Introduction to the Survey, Ferrarese, L., et al. 2012, ApJS, 200, 4

Galaxy Evolution in a Complex Environment: A Multi-wavelength Study of HCG 7, Konstantopoulos, I.K. et al. 2010, ApJ, 723, 197

Hierarchical Structure Formation and Modes of Star Formation in Hickson Compact Group 31, Gallagher, S.G., Durrell, P.R., et al. 2010, AJ, 139, 545

The Resolved Stellar Populations of a Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, Durrell, P.R. et al. 2007, ApJ, 656, 746

The Metallicity Distribution of Intracluster Stars in Virgo, Williams, B.F. et al. 2007, ApJ, 656, 756

Intracluster Red Giant Stars in the Virgo ClusterDurrell, P.R., Ciardullo, R., Feldmeier, J.J., Jacoby, G.H., Sigurdsson, S. 2002, ApJ, 570, 119

Ward Beecher Planetarium


Patrick R. Durrell - profile photo

Patrick R. Durrell


Physics, Astronomy, Geological, and Environmental Sciences