Astronomer. Pianist. Cat Enthusiast.

Samantha benincasa



My research focuses on studying the connection between star formation and the interstellar medium in galaxy simulations, with an emphasis on the galactic environment.​ Click on an image to see the paper.

GMC Formation in Disk Galaxies: Characterizing Simulated Versus Observed Cloud Catalogs

GMC formation in a co-rotating frame of reference

The anatomy of a star-forming galaxy: pressure-driven regulation in simulated galaxies

Pressure-driven regulation of star formation

A tale of two clump masses: a new way to study clump formation in simulations

High redshift clump formation - a new approach

Live Fast, Die Young: GMC lifetimes in the Latte cosmological simulations 

Connecting GMCs and star clusters in the Latte cosmo zooms

The anatomy of a star-forming galaxy II: the role of FUV heating in the structure of galaxies

The role of FUV in shaping the ISM and star formation


Public Outreach

I have been actively involved in multiple outreach initiatives focused both on science communication and the development of programs to promote equity and inclusivity in physics and astronomy.

Most recently, I have acted as president of People for Inclusivity in Physics & Astronomy (PIPA, formerly GWIPA). PIPA hosts an annual event to encourage girls to continue in the physical sciences. Click below, or on the right to learn more about Girls in Science Day.

Curriculum Vitae


PhD (Physics), McMaster University 2018

MSc (Physics), McMaster University 2014

BSc (Honours Physics), McMaster University 2012

Research Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Davis 2018-present

Graduate Researcher, McMaster University 2012-2018

Research Assistant, University of Hokkaido 2012

CCAPP/NSERC Fellow, OSU, 2020-present