Margaret J. Geller, professor of astrophysics, Harvard University, and astrophysicist, Smithsonian-Harvard Center for Astrophysics, was universally regarded for her revolutionary work on the large-scale structure of the universe. The discovery by Geller, John Huchra and Valerie de Lapparent of the bubble structure of galaxies was arguably among the most important work in late twentieth century astronomy.
Geller received her A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. In 1972 she completed her M.A., followed by a Ph.D in physics in 1975, both from Princeton University. Her professional experience included a research fellowship in theoretical astrophysics at the Center for Astrophysics, 1974-1976. She was a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for Astronomy in Cambridge, England, 1978-1980, and a research associate at the Harvard Observatory (HCO), 1978-1980. She has taught astrophysics and astronomy at Harvard University since 1980, and reached the rank of full professor in 1988. In July 1990, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She conducted research at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) on the nature and history of galaxy distribution, the origin and evolution of galaxies, and x-ray astronomy. She has published prolifically in these areas. Her long-range research goals include the development of a coherent picture of the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies, and the relationship between individual clusters and the cluster environment.