Kellogg Stelle’s research focuses on the theory of gravitation, on gauge and supersymmetric field theories and on string theory. He has been a pioneer in the study of higher dimensional extended objects, known as branes, in supersymmetric and string theories, and in the analysis of counterterms for ultraviolet divergences in supersymmetric field theories.
His work has considered in detail the properties of gravitational theories including higher derivative corrections. When corrections quadratic in the curvature tensor are incorporated into the action, he found that this yields a renormalizable quantum system, but at the expense of having negative energy states in the spectrum. Such models also have an enriched set of classical solutions which includes non-Schwarzschild black holes and wormholes.
During his career, he has published around 200 scientific papers and was a 2006 winner of the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation Research Award. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the American Physical Society.