Introduction

I am a PhD candidate at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. My research focuses on characterizing the smallest, coolest, faintest stars - known as M-dwarfs - using high-resolution imaging techniques.

I began my academic career at the University of Michigan (go blue!), where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as in Spanish.

In 2017, I moved to Flagstaff to pursue my PhD in Astronomy and Planetary Science. I work as a Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Gerard van Belle at Lowell Observatory, where I continue to investigate low-mass stars.

My Research Interests

My research is focused on the intersection between stellar astrophysics and astronomical instrumentation. In particular, I seek to characterize low-mass stars using high-resolution imaging techniques in order to improve the detection and characterization of the planets that these stars host. A copy of my CV can be viewed here (updated 3/4/21).

Why M-dwarfs?

M-dwarfs comprise over 70% of the stars in our galaxy, and are currently the most favorable targets for detecting habitable exoplanets (planets that orbit stars other than the Sun). This is due to their high occurence rate, their longevity (with lifetimes on the order of the age of the Universe), and their favorable observing characteristics for finding rocky planets in the habitable zone (the range of orbits around a star within which a planetary surface can support liquid water). However, if the M-dwarfs that these planets orbit are not well-understood, then unresolved stellar companions can lead to false positives for planet detection and erroneous planetary properties.

High-Resolution
Imaging

In order to understand our smallest stellar neighbors and the planets that orbit them, I utilize both speckle and long-baseline interferometry to directly image M-dwarfs on the highest spatial scales. These techniques allow me to directly measure stellar multiplicity to better characterize not only the stars themselves, but the planets that orbit them as well.

About Me

I was born in Denver, Colorado, and lived there for 18 years until I moved to Michigan to begin my undergraduate studies. I have always had a fondness for the mountains, and I love that I can ski and hike in Flagstaff, just like at home. The San Francisco Peaks are ALMOST as beautiful as the Rocky Mountains!

I also have a love of photography, and have tried my best to image the beautiful scenery that has surrounded me over the years. Recently, I have delved into the world of astrophotography. Take a look around my website to see some of these images!

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