You are here

Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Faculty List

Professor and Director 
U-L. Pen, MSc, PhD

Associate Director
H. Pfeiffer, BSc, PhD

University Professor 
J.R. Bond, OC, MS, PhD, FRSC, FRS 

​N.W. Murray, BSc, PhD
P.G. Martin, MSc, PhD, FRSC 
A.C. Thompson, BSc, PhD 


The Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) is an incorporated national institute hosted by the University of Toronto, conducting research covering all of modern astrophysical theory and analysis during this remarkable age of cosmic discovery. CITA has firmly established itself as one of the top five places in the world for such research; despite its small size CITA has had a large impact on the world-wide astrophysics community. Research at CITA is carried out by about 20 research fellows, 30 graduate students, and a limited number of undergraduate students, all supervised by full-time faculty members.

Where do elements, planets, solar systems, stars, galaxies, the Universe, and life, come from? Questions like these fascinate everyone. Theorists at CITA analyze, interpret, and explain the astronomical observations that illuminate such questions, using laboratory-tested physical laws, or as recently seen, new physical laws that the observations require but which laboratory experiments have not been able, so far, to detect. The observational data are supplied by the recent and ongoing explosion in astronomical hardware, including current observatories like the 10-meter class Keck telescope, ALMA, the Hubble space telescope, x-ray, infrared, and ultra-violet space telescopes, and a host of others.

CITA courses are designed for students interested in doing undergraduate research in theoretical astrophysics, and are appropriate for computer science, engineering science, physical sciences and astronomy program students.

CITA works closely with two related academic units, the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA) and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (DI). The DAA is engaged in a broad range of research, with an emphasis on observational astronomy. A main focus of DI is on the design and development of astronomical instrumentation. Undergraduate students will find diverse research opportunities through CITA and these two cognate units.

Undergraduate Enquiries: (416-978-6477)

Web site: