Maria R. Drout

Maria Drout


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


  • University of Toronto
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Carnegie Institution for Science
The Observatories


  • Canada


PhD (Astrophysics), Harvard University
MA (Astrophysics), Harvard University
MASt (Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics), University of Cambridge
BS (Physics and Astronomy), University of Iowa


Maria Drout’s group studies the evolution, influence and ultimate fate of massive stars.

They use ground and space-based telescopes to study supernova explosions and other exotic transients, as well as populations of massive stars in nearby galaxies. Recently, Drout and her team discovered the first visible light from a gravitational wave signal – less than 11 hours after it was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), pinpointing the location of a neutron star merger. Drout subsequently used the rapidly fading light from the explosion to understand the origin of the heaviest elements in the universe.


Dorothy Shoichet Women Faculty Award of Excellence, University of Toronto, 2018
ASU Origins Project Postdoctoral Lectureship Award, 2018
NASA Hubble Fellowship, 2016 - 2018
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2010-2014
Churchill Fellowship, 2010

Relevant Publications

Drout, M. R., et al. “Light Curves of the Neutron Star Merger GW170817/SSS17a: Implications for R-Process Nucleosynthesis." Science, 358, 1570 (2017).

Coulter, D. A. et al. “Swope Supernova Survey 2017a (SSS17a), the Optical Counterpart to a Gravitational Wave Source.” Science, 358, 1556 (2017).

Drout, M. R. “Rapidly Evolving and Luminous Transients from PanSTARRS1”, ApJ, 794, 23 (2014).

Drout, M. R., et al. “The Fast and Furious Decay of the Peculiar Type Ic Supernova 2005ek.” ApJ, 774, 58 (2013).

Drout, M. R. “The Yellow and Red Supergiants of M33.” ApJ, 750, 97 (2012).