2024 CAP Herzberg Medal: Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo

Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf

Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, a member of the Centre for Research in Astrophysique of Quebec, has been awarded the Herzberg Medal 2024 by the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) in recognition of her leadership role in the study of super-massive black holes in galactic clusters, and her innovative use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the analysis of massive amounts of astrophysical data.

The CAP Herzberg Medal recognizes the significant achievements of an early-career Canadian physicist in any field of research. The CAP Herzberg Medal was created in 1970.

Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo is a world-renowned authority on the exploration of the most massive black holes. She is an Associate Professor in the Physics Department of the Université de Montréal, a member of the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec, and holds the prestigious Canada Research Chair in Observational Black Hole Astrophysics. After obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Université de Montréal, Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo pursued her doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, England, and then obtained a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, USA, as a NASA Einstein Fellow.

Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo’s main objective is to study the characteristics and impact of the cosmos’ most massive and influential black holes, focusing on their role in shaping galactic properties across cosmic epochs. This research is an essential cornerstone in advancing our understanding of galaxy formation and progression through time.

In addition to a multitude of awards and fellowships throughout her career,Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo has consistently obtained observing time on some of the world’s most renowned telescopes.

She has published over 80 papers in leading journals and has been invited to present her research at over 70 conferences and university departments worldwide. She is also a fervent advocate of diversity and played a key role in co-founding Parité sciences, a pioneering initiative to achieve gender parity in physics, computer science, and mathematics across the province of Quebec).

About the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec

The Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ) brings together all the astrophysicists in Quebec. Nearly 150 people, including some fifty researchers and their students from Université de Montréal, McGill University, Université Laval, Bishop’s University, Cégep de Sherbrooke, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne and a number of other collaborating institutions are part of the cluster. The CRAQ is under the direction of David Lafrenière of the Université de Montréal. The CRAQ is one of the strategic clusters funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature and Technologies (FRQNT).

Media Contact

Frédérique Baron
Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec
514-343-6111 # 3798.