Preethi Nair

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Recruiting and Admissions


  • PhD, University of Toronto, 2009


Dr. Nair is a multi-wavelength observational astronomer investigating the formation and evolution of galaxies. Her interests are in visual and quantitative galaxy morphologies, the relative role of merging and secular processes, specifically bars, rings and spiral arms, in the star formation, and accreting supermassive black holes or AGN. Dr. Nair is particularly interested in data mining large surveys to explore how galaxies have evolved over time. She is currently involved in the SDSS IV MaNGA survey which will obtain resolved spectroscopic observations of 10,000 nearby galaxies to investigate their star formation and mass building history.

Dr. Nair received her doctoral degree from the University of Toronto in 2009. She joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in January 2014.

Office Hours

By appointment

Current Research Group Members

Graduate Students

– Wenhao Li
Topic: X-ray/Optical properties of merging galaxies

– Kavya Mukundan
Topic: X-ray/Optical properties of barred galaxies/Galaxy Classification Algorithms

– Mason Footh
Topic: Constraining the properties of dual nuclei and dual AGN in merging galaxies.

For students interested in graduate school, please visit our admission webpages below:

Undergraduate Students

– Austin Taschler
– Shrinkhal Wage
– Devin Kodsi

Openings may be available for undergraduate students to start in Spring 2021. Please email me ( at the start of the Spring semester to set up an appointment to discuss potential projects.

Former Group Members


-Dr. Amy Jones (postdoc)  — Now staff scientist at STScI.

Graduate Students

– Nirmal Baral – M.S. by thesis from UA
Topic: Improving automated classifications of visual galaxy morphologies

– Dr. Chris Spradlin – PhD from UAB  — Primary supervisor Jimmy Irwin (UA).
Topic: Stellar Mass Density Dependence of Hot Gas Retention in Local (z<0.03) Early-type Galaxies.

– Sunil Laudari — M.S. from UA

Undergraduate Students

– Austin Taschler
– Shrinkhal Wagle
– Devin Kodsi
– Isabella Dugas — X-ray/Optical properties of dual merging galaxies
– Allison McCarthy
– Matt Shelby
– Amber Greybeal
– Tyler Evans
– Jacob Curtis
– Jake Powell
– Jeremy Cummings
– Emily Frank
– Ben Runge
– Jacob Winton
– Alex Drozd
– Carlisle Wishard — current PhD student at Purdue, Dept. of Planetary Sciences
– John Andrews
– Alex Hoffman

Zoom Video Timer

As a science co-chair for SDSS-IV MaNGA, and organizer for many meetings, I have found the need for a non-verbal way to indicate the time remaining to speakers. I created videos with a countdown clock that can be used as video backgrounds with Zoom.  I am including my 5 minute + 1 minute timer here for general use. The video starts with a green background, transitions to yellow in the last 3 minutes, and to red in the last minute. When the speaker’s time is up the background slide transitions from the plain red background to a black background and counts up to 1 minute. Clicking on the link below will let you download/save the mp4 file. Hope this helps.


How I created a custom timer video background

I used Keynote in practice presentation mode to show slides with a countdown timer. I recorded the presentation using screen capture with QuickTime (or Panapto). I edited and compressed the videos with ffmpeg to cut the movie down to only the full screen timer portions of the video.