Astronomy & Research

As of August 2022, I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center affiliated with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I first joined the TESS team at NASA GSFC as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow in August 2019, working with Dr. Joshua E. Schlieder. I am also a TESS Follow-up Observing Program member and an affiliate of the Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS), headed by Prof. Todd J. Henry.

My postdoctoral work has focused on the holistic characterization of exoplanet systems and flare stars. In particular, I led the discovery and characterization effort of the LHS 1678 exoplanet system, a “Gaia gap” M dwarf at 20 parsecs with a likely brown dwarf and three rocky planets. All components of the system are exciting in their own right, and even more so together as a system. I am also deeply interested in understanding the M dwarf convective boundary and how the luminosity changes these stars undergo influence their exoplanets.

My PhD research involved characterizing the closest, coolest stars with a focus on their radii in order to (1) identify which stars may be among our oldest and youngest neighbors and (2) reveal previously-unseen trends by uniformly characterizing a large sample with an unprecedented range of stellar masses.

During my Ph.D. program, I served as the SMARTS Graduate Fellow and helped run the SMARTS/CTIO 0.9m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO, imaged above with me standing next to the 0.9m). I still promote this telescope and the SMARTS/CTIO 1.5m, am open to any questions about them, and can help interested parties get telescope time.

My main areas of expertise are in observational astronomy, nearby low-mass stars, exoplanet system characterization, and low-mass star fundamental parameters.

Curriculum VitaeLast Updated September 19th, 2022

Research Interests

Low-mass stars and exoplanets! I have a particular interest in magnetic activity, the transition from partial to full convection in M dwarfs, and anything to do with the late-M to early-L dwarfs (the smallest, faintest stars). I also enjoy investigating “weird” stellar and/or exoplanet systems, and I’ve been known to branch out to study a more massive star or two here and there. I’m open to new topics and possibilities!

Some broader topics:

  • Stellar Magnetic Activity
  • Low-mass Star Fundamental Properties
  • Fully Convective Stars
  • Star-planet Interactions
  • Exoplanet System Characterization
  • Nearby Stellar Populations
  • Exoplanet Demographics
  • Star Formation
  • Exoplanet Formation and Evolution

There is a lot to learn! 🙂