Renée Hložek

Renee Hlozek-BW


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


  • University of Toronto
Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics & the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • Canada


PhD (Physics), Oxford University
MSc (Applied Mathematics), University of Cape Town
BSc (Honours, Mathematics), University of Cape Town
BSc (Physics), University of Pretoria


Renée Hložek studies the Universe from the earliest moments to the far future. Her work uses statistical methods and precise observations to answer cosmic questions. 

She makes measurements of both visible and microwave light with telescopes high in the deserts of northern Chile, and use these measurements to learn about the fundamental building blocks of nature. 

Hložek is part of an ambitious new telescope collaboration, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), that will measure the signals from many thousands of supernovae in order to learn about the enigmatic dark energy driving the acceleration of the universe. She develops new statistical techniques to use the telescope data wisely in the hunt to understand dark energy. 

Hložek is also interested in measuring the fluctuations in the microwave light from the Big Bang to unravel the secret of the dark matter that binds the universe together. She develops theoretical models of a type of dark matter that clumps and grows over cosmic time in a very particular way. She, along with colleagues in the Simons Observatory collaboration, are building a series of telescopes in the Atacama desert to detect minute ripples in the temperature and polarisation signals of the nascent light of the universe.


TED Senior Fellow, 2014

TED Fellow, 2013

Spitzer-Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows, 2012

Lyman Spitzer Jr. Fellow of Astrophysics, Princeton University, 2011

Rhodes Scholar, 2008

Relevant Publications

Daniel Muthukrishna, Gautham Narayan, Kaisey S. Mandel, Rahul Biswas, Renée Hložek RAPID: Early Classification of Explosive Transients using Deep Learning PASP Special Issue on Methods for Time-Domain Astrophysics (in press, 2019) 

Alex Malz, Renée Hložek et al. The Photometric LSST Astronomical Time-series Classification Challenge (PLAsTiCC): Selection of a performance metric for classification probabilities balancing diverse science goals (under review, 2018) 

Renee Hložek, David J.E Marsh, Daniel Grin Using the Full Power of the Cosmic Microwave Background to Probe Axion Dark Matter MNRAS 476 (3) 2018 

The Simons Observatory Collaboration The Simons Observatory: Science goals and forecasts JCAP 1902 (2019) 056