Marusa Bradac

Headshot of Marusa Bradac

Associate Professor

Office: 531 Physics Building
Phone: +1 (530)752-6762
Fax: +1 (530)752-4717

Personal Website:

Research Interests:

Observational cosmology; dark matter; first galaxies; clusters of galaxies; gravitational lensing. The principal objective of my research is to study the dark matter and its properties over a variety of scales and environments. With accurate mass measurements by clusters and galaxies I am able to constrain their dark matter profile and distribution. Following the pioneering example of the Bullet Cluster I am studying more merging clusters; these are ideal laboratories for distinguishing between dark matter and other scenarios that have been proposed to eliminate the need for dark matter altogether. Galaxy clusters are not only useful to study dark matter. Among other fantastic research one can do, clusters also act as gigantic magnifying glasses. Therefore we can use them to observe fainter and more distant sources than would otherwise be possible. I use massive clusters as cosmic telescopes to explore the Universe in its infancy. Powerful space telescopes (like Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope in the future) put behind a Cosmic telescope allow me to observe galaxies at the Cosmic Dawn, when the Universe was only about few percent of its present ags.

Research Areas

Career History

  • Ph.D., University of Bonn, Germany, 2004
  • Postdoctoral fellow at Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford, 2004-2007
  • Hubble Fellow at UC Santa Barbara, 2007-2009
  • Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, 2009-Present


  • UC Davis Hellman Fellow, 2011
  • Hubble Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara, 2007
  • IMPRS Fellowship, MPIfR Bonn, 2002
  • BIPP scholarship, Bonn International Physics Programm, 1999
  • ZOIS scholarship (scholarship awarded by Slovenian Government) 1992