Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Dr. Ozel attended the Uskudar American Academy for middle school and high school, graduating in 1992. She received a BS summa cum laude from Columbia University and was the salutatorian of her class. Spending a year in Europe, she received a master’s degree from Niels Bohr Institute in 1997 and worked at CERN. She received her PhD from Harvard University in astrophysics in 2002 on the effects of the intense gravitational and magnetic fields of neutron stars. Before joining the faculty at the University of Arizona, she was a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Dr. Ozel is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Science Academy of Turkey. Ozel received the Maria Goeppert Mayer award from the American Physical Society, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, the Miller Institute Visiting Professorship from the University of California in Berkeley, and the Bart J. Bok Prize from Harvard University.
Dr. Ozel has served on a large number of advisory committees for NASA and the National Science Foundation, including the NASA Astrophysics 30-year Roadmap and the Chandra X-ray Telescope Users Committee. She frequently appears in TV documentaries on PBS, the History Channel, and CNN International as well as in many scientific articles in the popular press. She has also been a spokesperson for the Louis Vuitton’s Women’s Literacy Campaign in the Middle East.