About Me

Hello! I am an Astrophysics Ph.D. candidate in the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University. My research focus is on extragalactic astronomy and I work with Dr. Sanchayeeta Borthakur in the STARs lab studying the gas surrounding galaxies called the circumgalactic medium (CGM). My work aims to connect the kinematics of the gas in the CGM to the motions of the stars and gas in the disks of galaxies.

Before attending ASU I received my M.S. in Physics from Texas A&M University-Commerce where I studied variable white dwarfs with Dr. Kurtis Williams. I graduated with a B.A. in Physics from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, and I grew up not far away in Bedford, NH. Outside of work I am an avid drummer and golfer and spend the majority of my free time doing both!


The circumgalacitc medium (CGM) is the area immediately surrounding galaxies that separates the interstellar medium (ISM) from the intergalactic medium (IGM; see this annual review by Jason Tumlinson, Molly Peebles, and Jessica Werk for a complete description of the CGM). The CGM contains multiphase gas due to inflows from the IGM and outflows from stellar and AGN feedback. My specific interests in regards to the CGM is studying the kinematic connection between CGM and galaxy disks in low-redshift galaxies. To do this I use archival ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope to study the motions of gas in the CGM through the technique of quasar abosrption spectroscopy. Data of the motions of stars in the disk are obtained with optical longslit spectra to construct stellar rotation curves. These data can be used to understand whether the CGM gas is corotating with the galaxy disk. An example of such an analysis can be seen in the below figure from my recent paper on the analysis of a low-redshift damped Lyman-alpha system found in an extended HI disk (Dupuis et al. 2021).

Figure taken from Dupuis et al. 2021 comparing the velocity of a galaxy a compared to neutral hydrogen gas in the CGM traced by Lyman-alpha (blue star).


1) Dupuis et al. 2021, Discovery of a Low-redshift Damped Ly╬▒ System in a Foreground Extended Disk Using a Starburst Galaxy Background Illuminator


Conducting outreach is one of the most important things I feel scientists can do. I have made it a focus of mine to participate in programs that conduct outreach in the local community since beginning graduate school. To that end I have been a member of the SESE Prison Education Program (PEP) since its inception in 2018. The PEP was created for graduate students to volunteer and teach a joint geology, planetary science, and astronomy course at a local state prison. We believe everyone has the right to education, especially to historically underserved populations like incarcerated individuals. I currently act as the astronomy lead for the program. My duties are to recruit new graduate volunteers and to ensure our lessons are complete for when we teach our classes in the prison. The PEP has been the most fulfilling thing I have done yet as a graduate student and will continue to volunteer for as long as I am at ASU.

Contact me

chris.dupuis [at] asu [dot] edu