Mary E. Oksala

Mary E. Oksala, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Physics



Dr. Mary Oksala is an Associate Professor of Physics at California Lutheran University and an observational stellar astrophysicist, studying the most massive stars in the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies. 

Prior to joining the CLU faculty,  Dr. Oksala received her Bachelors of Science degree in Physics from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Physics from the University of Delaware.  She was a postdoctoral researcher for 3 years at the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of the Czech Republic, located in rural Prague, before receiving a 2 year postdoctoral fellowship at the Paris Observatory in France.  

At CLU, Dr. Oksala teaches both introductory and upper level physics courses, as well as the Introduction to Astronomy course.  She is also the faculty advisor for the Physics Club and the Physics Honors Society,  Sigma Pi Sigma.



2011 -- PhD in Physics, University of Delaware

2004 -- B.S. in Physics, West Chester University of Pennsylvania


The structure and effects of magnetic fields in massive stars.


Shultz, M. E., Casini, R., Cheung, M. C. M., David-Uraz, A., del Pino Alemán, T., Erba, C., Folsom, C. P., Gayley, K., Ignace, R., Keszthelyi, Z., Kochukhov, O., Nazé, Y., Neiner, C., Oksala, M., Petit, V., Scowen, P. A., Sudnik, N., ud-Doula, A., Vink, J. S., Wade, G. A.
Ultraviolet spectropolarimetry with Polstar: using Polstar to test magnetospheric mass-loss quenching
2022, Ap&SS, 367, 120

Krtička, J., Mikulášek, Z., Kurfürst, P., Oksala, M.E.
Photometric signatures of coronating magnetospheres of hot stars governed by higher-order magnetic multipoles
2022, A&A, 659A, 37

Das, B., Chandra, P., Shultz, M. E., Wade, G. A., Sikora, J., Kochukhov, O., Neiner, C., Oksala, M.E., Alecian, E.
Discovery of eight `Main-sequence Radio Pulse emitters' using the GMRT: clues to the onset of coherent radio emission in hot magnetic stars
2022, Astrophysical Journal, 925, 125

Seach, J. M., Marsden, S. C., Carter, B. D., Neiner, C., Folsom, C. P., Mengel, M. W., Oksala, M. E., Buysschaert, B.
A magnetic snapshot survey of F-type stars
 2020, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 494, 5682

Buysschaert, B., Neiner, C., Martin, A. J., Oksala, M. E., Aerts, C., Tkachenko, A., Alecian, E., MiMeS Collaboration
Magnetic characterization and variability study of the magnetic SPB star o Lupi
 2019, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 622, A67 

Buysschaert, B., Neiner, C., Martin A.J., Aerts, C., Bowman, D.M., Oksala, M.E., Van Reeth, T.
Detection of magnetic fields in chemically peculiar stars observed with the K2 space mission
2018, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 478, 2777

Bowman, D.M., Buysschaert, B., Neiner, C., Pápics, P. I., Oksala, M. E., Aerts, C.
K2 space photometry reveals rotational modulation and stellar pulsations in chemically peculiar A and B stars
2018, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 616A, 77

Martin, A.J., Neiner, C., Oksala, M. E., & 6 other co-authors
First results from the LIFE project: discovery of two magnetic hot evolved stars
2018, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 475, 1521

Grant Funding


National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grant 

September 2021
Collaborative Research: New Models Of Stellar Evolution To Understand The Past, Present & Future Of Magnetic Massive Stars

$55,836,  3 year grant, Award Number: 2107871