Andrea Kunder, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Physics

Fields: Physics
Ph.D., Dartmouth College; B.A., Willamette University

​Ernsdorff Center 130
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503


Professor Kunder received her bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. Her area of expertise is astrophysics, with more than 60 refereed scientific publications, including being an editor of an Astronomy Society of the Pacific Conference Series.  

Dr. Kunder’s previous work as a research postdoctoral fellow at the prestigious Leibniz Institute of Astrophysics (AIP) concentrated on spectroscopic observations of Milky Way stars. Many of her scientific projects to date have involved photometric and spectroscopic surveys, including her work on identifying the RR Lyrae stars from the Massive Compact Halo Survey (MACHO) of the Galactic bulge, releasing the Bulge Radial Velocity Assay (BRAVA) catalogue of radial velocities of giants and RR Lyrae stars in the bulge, and releasing stellar parameters of half-a-million stars in the solar vicinity (RAVE DR5). Kunder has also had a hand in characterizing several astronomical instruments used by the US National Observatory in Chile. While a postdoctoral fellow at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, she worked on improving and supporting the optical and infrared CCD imagers on the Blanco 4m telescope, as well as playing a significant role in commissioning the Dark Energy Camera (DECam). Professor Kunder has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 2017.