I am an Astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA). I primarily work on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). This has included developing new imaging algorithms and software for the EHT (working with Andrew Chael and Katie Bouman) and coordinating the EHT’s Imaging Working Group (with Kazu Akiyama) to create the first images of a black hole (see here).

I study the most compact objects in the universe – neutron stars and black holes – through imaging at extreme resolutions. Over the past few years, I have pursued direct observations of magnetic fields and orbital dynamics near a black hole through Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) with the EHT. Previously, my graduate research imaged pulsar emission regions, utilizing scattering in the ionized interstellar medium as an enormous cosmic “lens.” Connections between these disparate studies have also led to critical and surprising realizations for Earth-space VLBI with RadioAstron and for imaging black holes with the EHT. See my research page for more details on these projects. 

I received my undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Southern California in 2007 and completed my PhD in the spring of 2013 working with Carl Gwinn (here is a link to my dissertation). You can access my papers here on ADS.

Feel free to contact me at mjohnson (at) cfa (dot) harvard (dot) edu or 617-496-7646. My office is M-329 in 160 Concord.