Trey V. Wenger, Ph.D. (he/him)

NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Download CV (PDF)

Image: APOD/Matipon Tangmatitham

Research Interests

I study the morphological and chemical structure of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, as probed by the locations and physical properties of high-mass star forming regions. I primarily use data from the Hii Region Discovery Survey (HRDS) and its successors.

The Hii Region Discovery Surveys discovered more than a thousand new sites of high-mass star formation in the Galaxy. (Image: Trey Wenger, NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt)
The Southern HII Region Discovery Survey (SHRDS) is using the Australia Telescope Compact Array to discover hundreds of new HII regions in the Southern sky. (Image: D. Smyth, CSIRO)
Kinematic distances are the only distances available to a majority of star forming regions in the Galaxy. My recent work developed a Monte Carlo method to derive kinematic distances. (Image: Wenger et al., 2018)

Recent Papers

My work on the SAO/NASA ADS Database

Do All Low-Mass Stars Undergo Extra Mixing Processes?
Dana S. Balser, Trey V. Wenger, T. M. Bania, 2022, Astrophysical Journal, 936, 168

Discovery of a New Population of Galactic H II Regions with Ionized Gas Velocity Gradients
Dana S. Balser, Trey V. Wenger, L. D. Anderson, W. P. Armentrout, T. M. Bania, J. R. Dawson, John M. Dickey, 2021, Astrophysical Journal, 921, 176

The Southern H II Region Discovery Survey. II. The Full Catalog
Trey V. Wenger, J. R. Dawson, John M. Dickey, C. H. Jordan, N. M. McClure-Griffiths, L. D. Anderson, W. P. Armentrout, Dana S. Balser, T. M. Bania, 2021, Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 254, 36

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV (PDF)


NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, UW-Madison, 2022 to Present
Covington Postdoctoral Fellow, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, 2019 to 2022
Research Fellow, University of Virginia, 2013 to 2019
Teaching Assistant, University of Virginia, 2014 to 2016


Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Virginia, May 2015 to May 2019
M.S., Astronomy, University of Virginia, August 2013 to May 2015
B.A., Astronomy and Physics, Boston University, September 2009 to May 2013

Research Grants

NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship, UW-Madison, 2019 to Present
Covington Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, 2019 to 2022
Graduate Research Fellowship, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, 2017 to 2018
Grote Reber Doctoral Fellowship, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 2016 to 2018
Raven Fellowship, Raven Society, 2016
Graduate Research Fellowship, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, 2016 to 2017
ARCS Scholarship, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, 2016 to 2017
D.N. Batten Foundation Jefferson Fellowship, Jefferson Scholars Foundation, 2013 to 2019
Undergraduate Research Outreach Program Award, Boston University, 2012 to 2013
NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 2012
NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Arecibo Observatory, 2011

Honors & Awards

Raven Award, Raven Society, 2019
Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award, 231st American Astronomical Society Meeting, 2018
Laurence W. Fredrick Teaching Award, University of Virginia, 2016
First Place Award and Scholarship, Huskey Research Exhibition, 2015
Inductee, Raven Society, 2015
Second Place Award and Scholarship, Huskey Research Exhibition, 2014
College Prize in Astronomy, Boston University, 2013
Institute for Astrophysical Research Prize, Boston University, 2013
Dean's List, Boston University, 2009-2013


Current Courses

Recent Courses

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Cosmology (Undergraduate), UVA
Teaching Assistant, Research Methods in Astrophysics (Undergraduate), UVA
Teaching Assistant, Observational Astronomy (Graduate), UVA
Teaching Assistant, Observational Astronomy (Undergraduate), UVA
Instructor, Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (Undergraduate), UVA


Dark Skies, Bright Kids

At the University of Virginia, I was a volunteer with Dark Skies, Bright Kids, a non-profit, volunteer-run outreach program dedicated to enhancing science literacy for elementary school students in Virginia. We lead 8 to 10 week after school clubs at different regional elementary schools each semester, and we run one-off events around the community several times a year. Thanks to a grant from the Packard Foundation, we are now hosting week-long astronomy summer camps at schools across Virginia.

Code and Online Tools

Monte Carlo Kinematic Distances

In a recent work, we developed a new tool to calculate kinematic distances. These Monte Carlo kinematic distances have the advantage over "traditional" kinematic distances of including all of the uncertainties associated with the Galactic rotation model and the definition of the local standard of rest (Wenger et al., 2018).

HII Region Database

I compile all data from the WISE Catalog of Galactic HII Regions and our radio recombination line surveys into a single machine readable database. You can access that database here.

Contact Me

3512 Sterling Hall
475 N. Charter Street
Department of Astronomy
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706-1507