Sarah J. U. Higdon


Adjunct Professor
Physics Department
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30460, USA


Who Am I?

I have the following qualifications

B.Sc. Physics (Hons), Leeds University, U.K.

M.A. Peace Studies, Bradford University, U.K.

M.Sc. Radio Astronomy, Jodrell Bank, Manchester University, U.K.

Ph.D. Astronomy, Southampton University, U. K.

Research Interests

I adopt a multi-wavelength approach, spanning the X-ray through radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to study star formation and the nature of the inter-stellar medium in galaxies both in the local and distant (early) universe. These studies address questions such has how do galaxies form and how do they evolve, how do you trigger star formation and how do you quench it? In particular I like to look at galaxies in groups that are undergoing tidal interactions and creating new tidal dwarf galaxies. I am currently involved in two major projects:

ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) uses the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico and is a survey of the atomic hydrogen (HI) content of 30,000 galaxies. The survey hopes to discover some dark galaxies and I hope to find new tidal streams and tidal dwarf galaxies. I am co-PI of an NSF project called the a ALFALFA Undergraduate Team. Students from GSU and 13 other colleges across the US are given the opportunity to join a world-class research team. Undergraduates progress through operating the telescope and reducing the survey data to presenting results from their own summer research experience at our annual workshop at Arecibo.

SAINTS (Star Formation in Nearby Tidal Streams) is a NASA Spitzer Space Telescope project surveying merging galaxies. We combine infrared/optical/UV/radio images with optical and infrared spectra to search for tidal dwarf galaxies and study their characteristics such as their size, age and star formation histories.


I'm on the SOC for this one - Galaxy Wars: Stellar Populations and Star Formation in Interacting Galaxies July 19-22 2009



NASA K-12 Grant to Develop A High School Astronomy Course: Georgians Experience Astronomy Research In Schools GEARS

ASTR 1020 Steller & Galactic Astronomy - Spring 2011

ASTR1000 An Introduction to the Universe - Spring 2007

GSU planetarium: Mrs Becky Lowder organizes many of excellent shows for K-12. Call the planetarium (912 478 5292) to schedule a free show. We will also be hosting GEARS summer workshops for high school teachers.

Astrophysics Links

Public Outreach

My husband, James Higdon, and I give talks/demonstrations to local groups who, like us, love astronomy. Recent examples are a star party and a slide show called "When things go bump in the night"

We live in warm Statesboro in Georgia. Our physics department has a planetarium . Mrs Becky Lowder organizes lots of excellent events, for example, there are free shows on the last Friday of every month.

World Links

Miscellaneous Links

p> gal class.ppt

Dr S. J. U. Higdon

Department of Physics
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8031
Statesboro 30458
shigdon at


The photo of Bluebells was taken by my Mum (copyright 2007).