Adi Foord

Adi Foord
Contact Information
Physics, Rm 316

Foord Research Group


Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Astronomy & Astrophysics – University of Michigan, 2020
M.S. Astronomy & Astrophysics – University of Michigan, 2017
B.A. Astronomy & Physics – Boston University, 2014

Previous Experience

Before joining the UMBC Physics Department, Dr. Foord was a Porat Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, working at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC). While at KIPAC, Dr. Foord worked with Chandra and XMM-Newton to measure the X-ray activity of interacting supermassive black holes. She also used the Hubble Space Telescope, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and WISE Infrared telescope to learn more about how the environments of supermassive black holes impact their evolution and growth.

Professional Interests

Although there is now broad consensus that active galactic nuclei (AGN) play important roles in the evolution of their surroundings, the processes that trigger the various forms of AGN activity remain unclear. Major galaxy mergers have been predicted to induce AGN, however, whether or not galaxy-galaxy interactions trigger accretion onto SMBHs remains a topic of debate. Dr. Foord’s research focuses on observational flags of merger-driven SMBH growth, or dual AGN; they are signposts of ongoing galaxy formation and represent rare instances where the link between environment and black hole growth (or, lack thereof) can be probed. As an observational astronomer, Dr. Foord uses X-ray observations (Chandra, XMM-Newton, Swift) to observe accreting supermassive black holes, and connects their X-ray activity to the emission of their host galaxies (in optical and IR, with telescopes such as SDSS, HST, and WISE). Generally, Dr. Foord is interested in high-resolution X-ray astronomy and enjoys searching for evidence of extended X-ray emission around accreting supermassive black holes to better understand their evolution across cosmic time.