Postdoctoral Research Associate,

Steward Observatory, AZ

Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil studies the most peculiar objects in the Universe. Her research has led to a discovery of an extremely rare galaxy with a unique circular structure, which is now commonly referred to as Burçin's Galaxy. Her work has provided the first description of a double-ringed elliptical galaxy, introducing new challenges for our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution.


Mutlu-Pakdil earned her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, and her undergraduate degree is from Bilkent University in Turkey. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona and a 2018 TED Fellow. She spends most of her time searching for the hierarchical structure at the scale of dwarf galaxies as a novel test of the Cold Dark Matter paradigm. She uses data gathered in a large range of wavelengths from premier telescopes worldwide and wants to learn more about how the Universe came to be the way it is today.

Mutlu-Pakdil's findings have been featured by CNN, Science Daily, Astronomy Magazine, Independent and MPR News, among many others. Damon Brown wrote in his regular Inc. Magazine online column: “Many organizations are dedicated to filling the STEM pipeline with more girls and women. Others are supporting the cause by being an example. TED Fellow Burçin is representing by being one of the most notable astrophysicists today.”


2020 TED Senior Fellows

February 15, 2020

I am happy to announce that I am a 2020 TED Senior Fellow now! Check out the amazing class of 2020 TED Fellows here. 

2019 AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador

September 15, 2019

I am honored to be selected as a 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) IF/THEN Ambassador. This program empowers current innovators and inspires the next generation of pioneers.

Meet the woman who discovered a whole new type of galaxy

November 21, 2018

Check out this National Geographic piece about my journey in science.

"Turkish-born astrophysicist Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil shares her name with a rare double ring of stars more than 350 million light-years away."

My TED Talk is now online!

August 28, 2018

Today is the day! My TED Talk is now available online.

2018 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the World

August 17, 2018

Great News! I am happy to announce that I am selected as 2018 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World honoree. Thanks so much for all the support in the process.

Spacepod: A New Type Galaxy with Dr Mutlu-Pakdil

July 15, 2018

Our fun space talk with Dr. Carrie Nugent, who is an inspiring space scientist and the writer of "Asteroid Hunters", is now available at listentospacepod.com.  Don't miss it! We talked about unusual ring galaxies.

Reimagining the future: Notes from TED Fellows Session 1 at TED2018.

April 11, 2018

"So, what’s it like to discover a rare galaxy? Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil speaks about her singular experiences during Fellows Session 1 at TED2018: The Age of Amazement, April 10, 2018, in Vancouver." Photo: Ryan Lash /TED

How 1 TED Speaker's STEM Pursuit Got a Galaxy Named After Her

April 09, 2018

"Many organizations are dedicated to filling the STEM pipeline with more girls and women. Others are supporting the cause by being an example. TED Fellow Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil is representing by being one of the most notable astrophysicists today. Most recently, she discovered a new galaxy - now called Burçin's galaxy." by Damon Brown on Inc.

Burçin's Galaxy featured in Science Node

April 02, 2018

Speed read from my interview with Science Node

  • Astronomer Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil plays instrumental role in discovery and analysis of an entirely new type of galaxy

  • ‘Burçin’s galaxy’ possesses features never before observed in any other galaxy

  • Mutlu-Pakdil hopes to inspire girls and minorities to pursue a career in STEM

UA astronomer discovers new galaxy

February 16, 2018

Have you seen my story on News 4 Tucson - KVOA? It was about my research on PGC1000714, an extremely rare double ringed elliptical galaxy. 

February 04, 2018

This is a recent article from Arizona Daily Star about my science journey from Turkey to USA. Little reminder for everyone: “No one gets very far unless she/he tries it.”

February 05, 2018

This is a recent article from Tucson Local Media about my science journey. Little reminder for every girl: Of course girls do science!

January 03, 2017

My recent research has led to a discovery of an extremely rare galaxy. This work has provided a first description of a double ringed elliptical galaxy.

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© 2017 by Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil