Alex Markowitz

Alex Markowitz's photo

Degree: Ph.D.

Position: Associate Professor

Division: Astrophysics II (Warsaw)

ORCID: 0000-0002-2173-0673

Office: 126

Phone: +48 223296126


Alex Markowitz is an associate professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (CAMK) in Warsaw. With his students and collaborators, he leads observational research into the physics and morphology of accretion flows onto supermassive black holes in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), including transient accretion events.

He earned his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in 2003, studying X-ray variability of Seyfert AGN.

He continued X-ray spectral and timing studies of AGN as a National Research Council/NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 2004 to 2007. From 2007 to 2015, he was an Assistant Project Scientist and then Assistant Research Scientist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS). He was also an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Karl Remeis Observatory/Erlangen Center for Astroparticle Physics in Germany, 2011-2014 (dual affiliation with UCSD-CASS). He has been an Associate Research Scientist at UCSD-CASS since 2015, and joined CAMK PAN as an Assistant Professor (dual affiliation with UCSD-CASS and CAMK PAN) starting in 2017. He achieved the habilitation ("Determining Accretion Flows in Seyfert Active Galactic Nuclei") in 2019.

Prof. Markowitz has been involved in observations of both radio-quiet and radio-loud AGN using most current and recent X-ray telescopes (e.g., XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, Chandra, AstroSAT, RXTE, Suzaku; most recently, eROSITA), as well as several ground-based facilities (most recently, the South African Large Telescope).

He is first- or co-author on over 90 peer-reviewed articles in ApJ, MNRAS, A&A, AJ, etc. The link to his publications included by the ORCiD database can be found here.

There are currently two doctoral students under Prof. Markowitz's supervision, Saikruba Krishnan and Tathagata Saha.

Research interests
  • observational studies of accretion and outflows in AGN, primarily via X-ray spectroscopy and variability,
  • exploring the geometry and physics of circumnuclear material around supermassive black holes across a range of length scales, from the region of extreme gravity to parsec scales,
  • connections between accretion processes in AGN and Galactic Black Hole and/or Neutron Star X-ray Binaries,
  • timing methods (e.g., statistical tools, periodicity claims) as they pertain to AGN light curves.

Grants / Scientific projects Prof. Markowitz has been Principal Investigator of multiple grants, including:
  • "eROSITA’s Window into the X-ray-Transient Sky: AGN Accretion in the Era of Big Data" (2020-2024). Funding information: BEETHOVEN project, NCN (2018/31/G/ST9/03224),
  • “Tools for Period Searching in AGN in the Era of “Big Data”” (2017-2022). Funding information: OPUS project, NCN (2016/23/B/ST9/03123).
  • Over the past 15+ years, he has also overseen multiple NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program and NASA-ROSES Guest Investigator programs.