Phone: 406-994-6182
Fax: 406-994-4452
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 203, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT
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Curriculum Vitae

Selected Honors, Awards, and Public Outreach/Service:

Honors and Awards

  • 2015, Young Scientist Award in General Relativity and Gravitation, Intenational Society on General Relativity and Gravitation.
  • 2014, Outstanding Faculty Award, Physics Department, MSU.
  • 2013, SCience Fellow in Engagement, College of Letters and Sciences, MSU.
  • 2011, KITP Scholar, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.
  • Elected Member at Large, Topical Group on Gravitation of the American Physical Society.
  • 2010, The Einstein Fellowship, NASA.
  • 2010, The Juergen Ehlers Thesis Prize, The Intenational Society on General Relativity and Gravitation.
  • 2009, Honorable Mention in the Grav. Wave Int. Committee Thesis Prize Competition.
  • 2009, Finalist in the Nationwide Council of Graduate Schools Dissertation Award competition.
  • 2008, Alumni Dissertation Award, Penn State University.
  • 2006, Blue Apple Award for Best Student Presentation, Midwest Relativity Meeting.
  • 2003, Senior Physics Prize for Outstanding Performance, Wash. Univ. in St. Louis.

Public Outreach:

  • 2015. Interview with Jorge Lanata en Radio Mitre, Buenos Aires Argentina. This interview (in Spanish) discusses a variety of topics at a level appropriate for the general public, from the role of a physicist in society to the basics of General Relativity and its impact on society.
  • 2014, Rythms of the Universe.
  • 2012-Present, Celebrating Einstein


  • 2016-Present, elected member of the Scientific Editorial Board for Classical and Quantum Gravity.
  • 2015-Present, Chair of Graduate Recruitment.
  • 2013-Present, Chair of the Fundamental Physics Working Group, NASA.
  • 2013-Present, Physics Graduate Admissions Committee, MSU.
  • 2013-2015, Physics Comprehensive Exam Committee, MSU.
  • 2011-2012, Physics Representative of Library Committee, MSU.

Biographical Sketch:

  • B.Sc. in Physics (Magna Cum Laude), Washington University in Saint Louis, 2003. 
  • Ph.D in Physics, Penn State University, 2008.
  • Research Associate, Princeton University, 2008-2010.
  • Einstein Fellow, MIT, 2010-2011.
  • Assistant Professor, MSU, 2011-Present.


My research concentrates on the study of Einstein's theory of General Relativity and Gravitation. I specialize in the dynamics of black holes and neutron stars, the most dense, compact and gravitationally strongest objects in the Universe. These "compact objects" sometimes form binaries, which eventually spiral into each other and coalesce. During such cataclysmic events, gravitational waves (undulations in the fabric of spacetime) are generated, which then travel unimpeded to Earth, carrying invaluable information about the astrophysical source and the fundamental gravitational interaction. Such waves will hopefully be detected in this decade by either pulsar timing arrays or interferometric detectors in the United States, Italy, Germany and Japan. I study how such waves can be used to learn about the structure of black holes and neutron stars and to determine whether Einstein's theory is still correct in such gravitationally extreme environments, precisely where tests are currently lacking.  

Selected Publications:

  • I-Love-Q, K. Yagi and N. Yunes, Science 341 (2013) 365-368.
  • Gravitational Wave Tests of General Relativity in the Parameterized Post-Einstenian Framework, N. Cornish, L. Sampson, N. Yunes and F. Pretorius, Phys.Rev.D84 (2011) 062003.
  • Chern-Simons Modified General Relativity, S. Alexander and N. Yunes, Phys. Rept. 480 (2009) 1-55. 
  • Fundamental Theoretical Bias in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics and the Parameterized Post-Einsteinian Framework, N. Yunes, Phys. Rev. D80 (2009) 122003.
  • Dynamical Chern-Simons Modified Gravity: Spinning Black Holes in the Slow-Rotation Approximation, N. Yunes and F. Pretorius, Phys. Rev. D79 (2009) 084043.
  • Testing Alternative Theories of Gravity Using LISA, C. M. Will and N. Yunes, Class.Quant.Grav. 21 (2004) 4367.


  • NASA EPSCoR, NASA, 2017-2020.
  • Faculty Early Career Developement (CAREER) Program, NSF, 2013-2018.
  • Education and Public Outreach Grant, APS, 2014-2015.
  • Montana Space Grant Consortium Educational Enhancement Grant, 2013-2014. 
  • Conference Support, NSF, 2012-2013.
  • Montana Space Grant Consortium Educational Enhancement Grant, 2012-2013. 
  • Gravity Program, NSF, 2011-2014.
  • Astrophysics Theory Program, NASA ROSES, 2011-2014.

Academic Responsibilities:

Classes that have been taught by Dr. Yunes:

  • Graduate Classical Mechanics
  • General Relativity 
  • General Relativity 2
  • General Relativity 3
  • Honors Physics 1
  • Radical Creativity Honors Seminar