Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory:

FGCU continuously monitors the latest information from health officials and shares details on the Coronavirus Updates website. Get details including helpful FAQs.

Learn More
profile avatar

, PhD


Back to Profile List


Ph.D. Physics, Clemson University, SC
MS Physics, University of Iowa, IA
BS Physics, Tohoku University, Japan


Gamma-ray Astrophysics, High Energy Atmospheric Physics

Research and Teaching Interests

Research Interests
  • Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background
  • Supernovae, AGNs (Seyferts & Blazars)
  • Galactic 511 keV Annihilations
  • Search for unpredicted Gamma-ray lines from all sky
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts and optical counterparts
  • Studying Sprites and TGFs to investigate particle acceleration

Courses Offered

College Physics I with Lab (PHY 2053C)
College Physics II with Lab (PHY 2054C)
General Physics I with Lab (PHY 2048C)
General Physics II with Lab (PHY 2049C)
Essentials of Astrophysics (AST 3211)


Selected Published Papers
  • "The Extragalactic X-Ray Background due to Cosmological Supernovae", K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising, D. H. Hartmann and L. -S. The, 1997, Astronomische Nachrichten, vol. 319, no. 1, p. 67.
  • "Cosmic Chemical Evolution and the MeV Gamma-Ray Background from Supernovae", D. H. Hartmann, K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising and L. -S. The, 1998, Nuclei in the Cosmos V (Volos, Greece) Proceedings edited by N. Prantzos
  • "Constraints on Association of Single-Pulse Gamma-Ray Bursts and Supernovae", J.P. Norris, J.T. Bonnell, and K. Watanabe, ApJ 518:901, 1999 (also astro-ph/9807322)
  • "Chasing the Association of Single-Pulse Gamma-Ray Bursts and Supernovae", J.T. Bonnell, J.P. Norris and K. Watanabe, A & AS 138:471, 1999
  • "The Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background from Supernovae",
  • K. Watanabe, D. H. Hartmann, M. D. Leising and L. -S. The, ApJ 516:285,1999
  • (also astro-ph/9809197)
  • "Studying the High-Energy Gamma-Ray Sky with GLAST",
  • T. Kamae, T. Ohsugi, D.J. Thompson and K. Watanabe (on behalf of the GLAST Collaboration), Advances in Space Research Vol. 25:905, 2000 (also astro-ph/9901187)
  • "Gamma-Ray Bursts and Cosmic Radiation Backgrounds",
  • D. H. Hartmann, T. M. Kneiske, K. Mannheim, and K. Watanabe, 2001, In the proceedings of Gamma Ray Burst and Afterglow Astronomy (Woods Hole, MA November 5-9, 2001) (also astro-ph/0201299)
  • "Constraining the Cosmic Star Formation Rate with the MeV Background", K. Watanabe, D. H. Hartmann, M. D. Leising, and L. -S. The, 2003, Nuclear Physics A718:425c - 427c (also astro-ph/0306113)
  • "Characterization and Prediction of the SPI Background",
  • B. J. Teegarden, P. Jean, J. Knödlseder, G. K. Skinner, G. Weidenspointer, C. Shrader, S. Sturner , and K. Watanabe, 2004, The 5th INTEGRAL Workshop - The Integral Universe - (Munich, Germany, February 16 - 20, 2004)
  • "INTEGRAL/SPI Limitation Electron-Positron Annihilation Radiation from the Galactic Plane", B. J. Teegarden, K. Watanabe, P. Jean, J. Kn¨odlseder,V. Lonjou, J. P. Roques, G. K. Skinner, P. von Ballmoos, G. Weidenspointner, A. Bazzano, Y. M. Butt, A. Decourchelle, A. C. Fabian, A. Goldwurm, M. G¨udel, D. C. Hannikainen, D. H. Hartmann, A. Hornstrup, W. H. G. Lewin, K. Makishima, A. Malzac, J. Miller, A. N. Parmar, S. P Reynolds, R. E. Rothschild, V Sch¨onfelder, J. A. Tomsick, and J. Vink, ApJ 621:296, 2005 (also astro-ph/0410354)
  • "A Comprehensive Search for Gamma-Rays Lines in the First Year of Data from the INTEGRAL Spectrometer", B. J. Teegarden and K. Watanabe, ApJ646:965, 2006
  • "INTEGRAL observation of a bright X-ray outburst of XTE J1739-302 / IGR J17391-3021", Turler, M., Balman, S., Bazzano, A., Beckmann, V., Belloni, T., Boggs, S., Capitanio, F., Chenevez, J., Del Santo, M., Diehl, R., Donnarumma, I., Eckert, D., Goldoni, P., Gotz, D., Leyder, J.-C.., Mereghetti, S., Paizis, A., Pottschmidt, K., Sidoli, L., Tarana, A., Tueller, J. ,Walter, R., Watanabe, K., Weidenspointner, G. , ATel 1019, 2007
  • "XTE J1810-189 measurements by INTEGRAL and Swift.", Neronov, A., Beckmann, V., Krimm, H., Markwardt, C. B., Tueller, J., Kuiper, L., Bazzano, A., Donnarumma, I., de Rosa, A., Fiocchi, M., Natalucci, L., Cadolle-Bel, M., Falanga, M., Goldwurm, A., Leyder, J.-C., Mereghetti, S., Piraino, S., Pottschmidt, K., Tomsick, J., Walter, R., Watanabe, K. , ATel 1430, 2008
  • "A new hard X-ray source discovered by INTEGRAL: IGR J16442-554", E. Bozzo (ISDC), C.Ferrigno (IAAT/ISDC), J. Chenevez (DTU-NSI), M. Del Santo, A. De Rosa, M. Fiocchi, A. Tarana, P. Ubertini (INAF/IASF-Roma), S. Corbel, D. Goetz, L. Prat, J.-A. Zurita-Heras (CEA-Saclay), M. Renaud (APC/Univ-Paris7), S. Mereghetti, A. Paizis, L. Sidoli (INAF/IASF-Mi), P.R. den Hartog (HEPL/KIPAC/Stanford), L. Kuiper (SRON), I. Negueruela (Universidad de Alicante), S. Piraino (IASF-Pa-INAF), Georg Weidenspointner (MPI), K. Watanabe (FGCU). ATel 2185, 2009.
  • "INTEGRAL catches an exceptional bright outburst from the HMX XTE J1855-026", K. Watanabe (FGCU), E. Bozzo (ISDC/University of Geneva), S. Mereghetti (IASF-Mi/INAF), C. Baldovin (ISDC/University of Geneva) Diego Gotz (Ces-Saclay). Atel 2482 2010
  • "INTEGRAL observations of the BHC IGR J17091-3624 in outburst", Capitanio F. (INAF/IASF-Roma), Tramacere A. (ISDC), Del Santo M. (INAF/IASF-Roma), Bozzo E. (ISDC), Watanabe K. (FGCU), Caballero I. (CEA-AIM Saclay), Chenevez J. (DTU Space, Denmark) , Paizis A. (INAF/IASF-Milano), Pottschmidt K. (UMBC/NASA GSFC), Sanchez-Fernandez C. (ESA/ESAC, Spain), Sguera V. (INAF/IASF- Bologna), Tarana A. (INAF/IASF-Roma), ATel 3159, 2011
  • "Swift/XRT follow-up observation of IGR J18179-1621", J. Li, S. Zhang, Y. P. Chen (IHEP, China), M. Tuerler (ISDC, Univ. of Geneva, Switzerland), J. Chenevez (DTU Space, Denmark); E. Bozzo, C. Ferrigno, A. Tramacere (ISDC, U. of Geneva, Switzerland); I. Caballero, J. Rodriguez (CEA Saclay, France); M. Cadolle-Bel, C. Sanchez-Fernandez (ESA/ESAC, Spain); M. del Santo, A. Tarana, M. Fiocchi (INAF/IASF-Roma, Italy), P. R. den Hartog (Stanford, USA), I. Kreykenbohm, M. Kuehnel (Dr. Karl Remeis Obs. and ECAP, Germany), A. Paizis (INAF/IASF-Milano, Italy), G. Puehlhofer (IAA-Tuebingen, Germany), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), G. Weidenspointner (MPE and MPI HLL, Germany), ATel 3950, 2012
  • "IGR J18245-2452: a new hard X-ray transient discovered by INTEGRAL", D. Eckert (ISDC, Switzerland), M. Del Santo, A. Bazzano (INAF/IAPS Rome, Italy), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), A. Paizis (INAF-Milano, Italy), E. Bozzo, C. Ferrigno (ISDC, Switzerland), I. Caballero (CEA, France), L Sidoli (INAF-IASF Milano, Italy), L. Kuiper (SRON, Netherlands), ATel #4925; 2013
  • "INTEGRAL hard X-ray observation of the nova GK Per during its 2015 outburst", M, Tuerler, C. Ferrigno, D. Eckert (ISDC, Uni. of Geneva, CH), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESAC, Spain), ATel #7244; 2015
  • "INTEGRAL detects renewed activity from GRS 1736-297", V. Esposito (ISDC, Switzerland), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESAC, Spain), E. Bozzo, C. Ferrigno (ISDC, Switzerland), ATel #8698; 2016
  • "INTEGRAL detects renewed activity from the HMXB SWIFT J1816.7-1613", G. Saral (ISDC, Switzerland), L. Sidoli (INAF-IASF Milano, Italy), J. Wilms (ECAP, Germany), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), E. Bozzo (ISDC, Switzerland), ATel #10087; 2017
  • "Multi-Year Observations of Geminid Meteor Showers with GRT-WF", Ken Watanabe and Martin B. Marks (FGCU), WGN , the Journal of the IMO, 46:5, 2018

Conference Presentations

Selected Papers Presented
  • "Studying the Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background with SMM",
  • K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising, G. H. Share and R. L. Kinzer, Second Compton GRO Symposium (College Park, MD 1993)
  • "The Preliminary Results of the Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background with SMM", K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising, G. H. Share and R. L. Kinzer, Third Compton GRO Symposium (Munich, Germany 1995)
  • "The MeV Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background from SMM", K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising, G. H. Share and R. L. Kinzer, AAS HEAD Meeting (San Diego, CA April,1996)
  • "The Diffuse Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background with SMM Between 0.3 MeV and 8 MeV", K. Watanabe, M. D. Leising, G. H. Share and R. L. Kinzer, 189th AAS Meeting (Toronto, CANADA January,1997)
  • "Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Cosmic Star Formation History",
  • D.H. Hartmann, D. Band, K. Hurley, H.-S. Park,K. Watanabe, G. G. Williams,
  • 19th TEXAS SYMPOSIUM (Paris, France December,1998)
  • "SMM Measurement of the Isotropic Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background", K. Watanabe, M. Leising, G. Share, R. Kinzer, AAS HEAD Meeting (Charleston, SC April 12-15, 1999)
  • "The Contribution of GRBs to the Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background", K. Watanabe and D.H.Hartmann, AAS HEAD Meeting (Honolulu, HI November 6-10, 2000)
  • "Constraining the Cosmic Star Formation Rate with the MeV Background", K. Watanabe, D. H. Hartmann, M. D. Leising, and L. -S. The, Gamma-ray Burst Today and Tomorrow Workshop (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, NC, August 8-10, 2002)
  • "An Overview of Gamma-Ray Line Results from the INTEGRAL Spectrometer (SPI)", B. Teegarden , E. Cisana, B. Cordier, R. Diehl , M. Harris, P. Jean, V. Lonjou, J. Knödlseder, K. Kretschmer, G. Lichti, J. P. Roques, S. Schanne, V. Schönfelder, G. K. Skinner, A. Strong, K. Watanabe, M. Valsesia, P. von Ballmoos, A. von Kienlin, and G. Weidenspointner, The 8th HEAD Meeting ( New Orleans, LA, September 8 - 11, 2004))
  • "INTEGRAL Observations of the Galactic 511 keV Emission and MeV
  • Gamma-ray Astrophysics", K.Watanabe, The18th Rironkon Symposium (INVITED TALK, Yukawa Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, December 25 –27, 2005)
  • "A Comprehensive Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL /SPI", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, 207th AAS Meeting (Washington DC, January 8 - 12, 2006)
  • "Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL /SPI", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, 210th AAS Meeting (Honolulu, HI, May 27 - 31, 2007)
  • "Comprehensive Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL /SPI", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, 5th INTEHRAL Workshop (Copenhagen, Denmark, September 8 - 11, 2008)
  • "Updates from Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL /SPI", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, COSPAR (Committee for SPAce Research) Meeting (Bremen, Germany, July 18 - 24, 2010)
  • "Sprite observations by GRT-WF:- Correlative study of Sprites and TGFs-" #2, T. Sakamoto (CRESST/GSFC), K. Watanabe, R. Brown, D. Spelman (FGCU), D. Donato (CRESST/GSFC), T. Okajima, N. Gehrels (GSFC), HEAD (AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division) Meeting (Newport, Rhode Island, September 7-10, 2011)
  • "Comprehensive Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with the 10-Year INTEGRAL/SPI Data", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, 10th INTEGRAL Workshop (Annapolis, MD, September 15 - 19, 2014)
  • "GRT-WF (Goddard Robotic Telescope Wide Field) Observations on Sprites to Study Correlations Between Sprites and TGFs", Ken Watanabe, Jakob Hegley, Ekaterina Vydra (Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, United States), Takanori Sakamoto(Aoyama Gakuin University, Sagamihara, Japan), Takashi Okajima, Neil Gehrels (NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States), The 29th IAU (International Astronomical Union) General Assembly (Honolulu, HI, August, 3 – 14,2015)
  • Title: "Updates on Search for Correlations Between Sprites and TGFs By Goddard Robotic Telescope Wide Field (GRT-WF)", K. Watanabe, Sofia Alaniz, Hunter Chagnon, Chelsea Atkins, Kyara Gutierrez, Kevin Keefe (FGCU), T. Sakamoto (AGU), T. Okajima, N. Gehrels (GSFC), AGU Fall Meeting (San Francisco, CA, December 12 – 16, 2016)
  • Title: "A Large Number of Sprites from an Isolated Storm System in January in South West FL ", K. Watanabe, Chelsea Atkins, Hunter Chagnon, Sofia Alaniz (FGCU), Takanori Sakamoto, Y Hata, F Yokosuga, and A Yamamoto (AGU), Takashi Okajim(GSFC), AGU Fall Meeting (New Orleans, LA, December 11 – 15, 2017)
  • Title: "Measurements of Radon Air Distribution in the Florida Peninsula", Ken Watanabe1, Tatsuo Torii2, Hiroshi Usami3, Shin Kubo4, Hunter Danielson1, Martin Marks1, and Chelsea Atkins1, (1)Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, United States, (2)JAEA Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Remote Sensing Div., CLADS, Nucl. Sci. Res. Inst., Tokai-mura, Japan, (3)JAEA Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tomioka, Japan, (4)Clear Pulse Co., LTD, Tokyo, Japan, AGU Fall Meeting (Washington, DC, December 10 – 14, 2018)


Grants & Awards

Research Grants

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 8/15/06 – 8/14/07

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 1/31/07 – 1/30/09

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Continuation of Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 2/1/08 – 1/31/10

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "More Continuation of Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 1/31/09 – 1/30/10

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Additional Observation to Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 5/5/10 – 5/4/12

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Optical Coordination with Fermi by GRT and GRT-WF Investigation of Paticle Acceleration in AGNs, GRBs and TGFs"
Grant Period: 8/20/10 – 8/19/12

Dr. Watanabe worked on several NASA space missions: Compton Gamma-ray Observatory (CGRO), Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST or Fermi),  and ESA’s International Gamma-ray Laboratory (INTEGRAL) while working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.  His expertise is High Energy Gamma-ray Astrophysics. After joining FGCU his research has expanded to High Energy Atmospheric phenomena such as Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) and Sprites, as well as optical Blazar monitoring using the SARA (the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy) telescopes. He has taught College Physics with Lab I & II (PHY 2053C & PHY 2054C), General Physics with Lab I & II (PHY 2048C & PHY 2049C), and Essentials of Astrophysics (AST 3211) at FGCU numerous times. 

Professional Organizasions

  • Collaborator at Astroparticle PhysicsLaboratory, Exploration of the Universe Division,    
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Full member of High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • Member of International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • Member of American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • COSPAR (Committee On SPAce Research) Associate