Dr. Bradley M. Peterson was a member of the faculty of The Ohio State University from 1980 to 2015. He served as Chair of the Department of Astronomy from 2006 to 2015. He is currently on appointment as Distinguished Visiting Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Peterson primary research interests are quasars, or "active galactic nuclei" (AGNs), and the supermassive black holes that power them. He is an active user of both ground-based and space-based telescopes. He is known principally for development of the technique of "reverberation mapping," which makes use of the intrinsic brightness variability of AGNs to map their inner structure and determine their black hole masses. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the AGN Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping project (AGN STORM), which is a multi-satellite and multi-telescope observing campaign built around a large allocation of Hubble Space Telescope observing time.
Dr. Peterson is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and chairs the Council's Science Committee. He is also co-chair of the Science and Technology Definition Team for the Large Ultraviolet, Optical, and Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), a potential large high-technology telescope concept for the 2030s.
Dr. Peterson has authored or co-authored over 230 research papers and two textbooks on astrophysics. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2010 received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the University. He received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1978. He earned his bachelor's degree in Physics in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, from which he also received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2016.