Brian Dennison, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Brian Dennison served as the endowed UNC Asheville Glaxo-Wellcome Professor from 2004 to 2014. Previously he was a Professor of Physics and the Director of the Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Virginia Tech. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, and he has worked as a Radio Astronomer at the E. O. Hulbert Center for Space Research of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Dr. Dennison’s fields of interest include astrophysics, radio astronomy, and optical astronomy of the interstellar medium. He has received extensive funding primarily from the National Science Foundation in support of these efforts and was Campus Director for the North Carolina Space Grant Program at UNC Asheville. He taught Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Observational Astronomy.

Dr. Dennison’s research has utilized radio observatories throughout the U.S. and Europe. Most recently he participated in the development of Lookout Observatory on the campus of UNC Asheville. This facility is operated jointly by UNC Asheville and the Astronomy Club of Asheville, and is used extensively for student research, undergraduate instruction, and outreach to the community.


  • Ph.D. (1976), M.S. (1974) Cornell University
  • B.S. (1970) University of Louisville

Selected Publications

  1. B. Dennison, "Fast Radio Bursts: Constraints on the Dispersing Medium," Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 443, L11-L14 (2014).
  2. B. Dennison, C. A. Bennett, M. Blake, M. Brown, A. T. Castelaz, M. Castelaz, W. A. Christiansen, J. D. Cline, J. K. Daugherty, D. Hutchinson, C. Kaltreider, E. R. Kirbach, D. Moffett, C. Osborne, L. Owen., and K. Vorren, “The Dedicated Interferometer for Rapid Variability,” Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, 26, 557-565 (2007).
  3. B. Dennison, B. E. Turner, and A. H. Minter, “The Fine Structure Lines of Hydrogen in HII Regions,” Astrophysical Journal, 633, 309-316 (2005).
  4. P. Mukherjee, B. Dennison, B. Ratra, J. H. Simonetti, K. Ganga, and J.-C. Hamilton, "Galactic Foregrounds in OVRO and UCSB South Pole 1994 Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropy Data," Astrophysical Journal 579, 83 (2002).
  5. T. J. Lazio, A. L. Fey, B. Dennison, F. Mantovani, J. H. Simonetti, A. Alberdi, A. R. Foley, R. Fiedler, M. A. Garrett, H. Hirabayashi, D. L. Jauncey, K. J. Johnston, J. Marcaide, V. Migenes, G. D. Nicolson, and T. Venturi, "The Extreme Scattering Event Toward PKS 1741-038: VLBI Images," Astrophysical Journal 534, 706 (2000).
  6. J. F. Salgado, D. R. Altschuler, T. Ghosh, B. Dennison, K. J. Mitchell, and H. E. Payne, "A Fourteen-Year Monitoring Program Monitoring the Flux Densities of 33 Radio Sources at Low Frequencies," Astrophysical Journal (Supplement) 120, 77 (1999).
  7. D. A. Boboltz, J. H. Simonetti, B. Dennison, P. J. Diamond, and J. A. Uphoff, "A Water Maser Flare in W49N: Amplification by a Rotating Foreground Cloud," Astrophysical Journal 509, 256 (1998).
  8. B. Dennison, G. A. Topasna, and J. H. Simonetti, "Detection in Hα of a Supershell Associated with W4," Astrophysical Journal (Letters) 474, L31 (1997).