Ashley Pagnotta


Davis Scholar - Postdoctoral Fellow, Astrophysics


Download Curriculum Vitae



  • Louisiana State University; Ph.D. Physics, 2012
  • Louisiana State University; M.S. Physics, 2010
  • Texas A&M University; B.A. Physics, B.A. Mathematics; 2007

Professional Interests

Dr. Pagnotta is interested in a wide variety of stellar explosions, specifically those that occur on and in white dwarfs, the leftover cores of stars like our Sun, everything from classical novae to Type Ia supernovae. She uses a variety of observational tools to conduct her research across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from the latest space X-ray telescopes to archival glass plates taken more than a century ago. Dr. Pagnotta is currently working on a survey program to determine how novae behave after their eruptions, and continues to remain interested in solving the Type Ia supernova progenitor problem.



  • Pagnotta, A., Walker, E. S., & Schaefer, B. E. 2014. The Diffuse Source at the Center of LMC SNR 0509-67.5 is a Background Galaxy at z = 0.031. The Astrophysical Journal, 788, 173. 
  • Pagnotta, A., & Schaefer, B. E. 2014. Identifying and Quantifying Recurrent Novae Masquerading as Classical Novae. The Astrophysical Journal, 788, 164
  • Pagnotta, A., 2014, Acta Polytechnica, Invited Conference Review Paper: A New Review of Old Novae, Accepted.
  • Edwards, Z. I., Pagnotta, A., & Schaefer, B. E. 2012. The Progenitor of the Type Ia Supernova that Created SNR 0519-69.0 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 747, 19.
  • Schaefer, B. E., & Pagnotta, A. 2012. An absence of ex-companion stars in the type Ia supernova remnant SNR 0509−67.5. Nature, 481, 164.
  • Schaefer, B. E., Pagnotta, A., et al. 2011. Eclipses during the 2010 Eruption of the Recurrent Nova U Scorpii. The Astrophysical Jounral, 742, 113. 
  • Schaefer, B. E., Pagnotta, A., et al. 2010. Discovery of the Predicted 2010 Eruption and the Pre-eruption Light Curve for Recurrent Nova U Scorpii. The Astronomical Journal, 140, 925.
  • Schaefer, B. E., Pagnotta, A., & Shara, M. 2010. The Nova Shell and Evolution of the Recurrent Nova T Pyxidis. The Astrophysical Journal, 708, 381. 
  • Collazzi, A. C., Schaefer, B. E., Xiao, L., Pagnotta, A., Kroll, P., Loechel, K., & Henden, A. A. 2009. The Behavior of Novae Light Curves Before Eruption. The Astronomical Journal, 138, 1846. 
  • Pagnotta, A., Schaefer, B. E., Xiao, L., Collazzi, A., & Kroll, P. 2009. Discovery of a Second Nova Eruption of V2487 Ophiuchi. The Astronomical Journal, 138, 1230.

Teaching Experience


  • Summer Research Practicum, Astronomy Component (Developed & Implemented); AMNH MAT Program, 2012-Present
  • Wonderful Universe (Redesign); AMNH SRMP High School After School Program; 2012-2013
  • DIY Astronomy (Partial Redesign); AMNH SRMP High School After School Program; 2013


  • Undergraduate advisee: Zachary Edwards, Louisiana State University 

Exhibition and Outreach

  • Public talks at assorted venues, including Astronomy on Tap and Columbia University
  • Invited talk and panelist at Louisiana State University Site of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, 2014
  • Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators Professional Development Program, 2014
  • NASA Center for Astronomy Education/Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars “Astro 101: Improving the College Introductory Astronomy General Education Course Through Active Engagement” Workshop, 2012
  • National Science Foundation “Science: Becoming the Messenger” Workshop (Days 1 & 2), 2011
  • Public Astronomy Nights, Landolt Astronomical Observatory at LSU, 2008-2012
  • Saturday Science at LSU, 2007 - 2011