Colby Haggerty

Computational Plasma Physicist

About me

I’m a plasma physicist who uses theory and computational simulations to study magnetospheric, heliospheric, and astrophysical systems. I have recently started as an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa working on understanding shocks, energetic particles, magnetic reconnection and turbulence.

I received my PhD in Plasma Physics from the University of Delaware in 2017, which focused on heliospheric magnetic reconnection and kinetic plasma turbulence. I worked as a postdoc in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago until 2021 studying collisionless plasma shocks.


  • Collisionless Plasma Shocks and Energetic Particle Acceleration (Earth's Bow Shock, Coronal Mass Ejections, Supernova Remenants)
  • Plasma Instabilities and Particle Transport (Strahl/Halo of the Solar Wind, Cosmic Ray feedback in Galaxy Formation)
  • Kinetic Plasma Turbulence (Corona, Solar Wind and Magnetosheath)
  • The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in all these processes (In Turbulent Dissipation and the Downstream of Shocks)

Select Publications

Relativistic Asymmetric Reconnection (2022)

Relativistic Asymmetric Reconnection (2022)

R. Mbarek, C.C. Haggerty, L. Sironi, M.A. Shay, and D. Caprioli Abstract: We derive basic scaling equations for relativistic magnetic reconnection in the general case of asymmetric inflow conditions and obtain predictions for the outflow Lorentz factor and the...

Computational Skills

Advanced knowledge of Python, C, C++, Java and Fortran

Plasma modeling using massively parallel Particle-in-Cell, Vlasov, Hybrid and MHD codes

MPI/OpenMP CPU and CUDA GPU software development

Simulation and observational data analysis with Python, Matlab and IDL



  • Damiano Caprioli, University of Chicago
  • Paul Cassak, West Virginia University 
  • Alexandros Chasapis, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • James F. Drake, University of Maryland
  • Greg Howes, Univerity of Iowa
  • James (Jimmy) Juno, Princeton University
  • Bill Matthaeus, University of Delaware
  • Marit Oieroset, University of California, Berkeley

  • Tai Phan, University of California, Berkeley
  • Prayash Sharma Pyakurel, University of California, Berkeley
  • Michael Shay, University of Delaware
  • Lorenzo Sironi, Columbia University
  • Marc Swisdak, University of Maryland
  • Jason TenBarge, Princeton University
  • Lynn B. Wilson III, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
  • Ellen G. Zweibel, University of Wisconsin Madison