The People of

Brendan Mullan

National Geographic Society


Brendan Mullan is the Director of Science for the Wrinkled Brain Project. He has a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy from Colgate University, and holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Penn State. As an astrophysicist and astrobiologist for the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Brendan pushes the frontiers of research in studying how dense clusters of stars are born and survive in the wreckage of galaxy collisions many millions of light-years away. More recently, he has joined a hunt for evidence that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations could have built enormous solar power-gathering structures around stars in distant galaxies.

But Brendan’s main passion is science communication and education. He is the Assistant Professor of Physics at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where he teaches physics, astronomy, and mathematics. Previously, he was the Director of the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory at Carnegie Science Center, also in Pittsburgh. He has years of experience in developing, coordinating, and performing science activities, demonstrations, shows, and programs for audiences of all ages.

Brendan is the winner of the nation-wide NASA Astrobiology Famelab science communication competition and is generally recognized as one of the leading young science communicators worldwide. In 2013, he was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and travels around the world to bring science to students everywhere.