Jonelle Walsh


Supermassive black holes reside at the centers of most, if not all, massive galaxies, and the black hole mass (MBH) has been found to tightly correlate with the host galaxy’s bulge properties, like the stellar velocity dispersion (σ) and luminosity (Lbul). These empirical relations suggest that black holes and galaxies grow in tandem, however the primary mechanism that drives black hole and galaxy co-evolution is not understood. In order to gain insight into the role that black holes play in galaxy evolution and firmly establish local black hole demographics, we need more MBH measurements in carefully selected galaxies. In particular, we need to better probe the extremes of the black hole mass scale, study a wider range of galaxy types, and quantify the intrinsic scatter of the black hole-galaxy relations. My research is aimed at taking these necessary steps.

Reverberation Mapping

The Black Holes in Compact, High-dispersion Galaxies

Stellar and Gas-dynamical Consistency Tests

Revisiting Previous MBH Measurements