Research InterestsResearch Interests
- Brown dwarfs, young stars, and exoplanets
- Star and planet formation
- Infrared spectroscopy
I am a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at AMNH and an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Science & Physics at the College of Staten Island and a member of CUNY Astronomy.
I study very-low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets, including some of the youngest and closest objects beyond the Solar System. Many of my recent publications are listed on ADS (note: publications before 2005 are not mine).
At AMNH with Rebecca Oppenheimer and the Exoplanet Group. I am creating simulated spectra for the high contrast integral field instruments Project 1640 and GPI in order to develop a model fitting procedure that will allow efficient characterization of low mass companions detected with these instruments.
I am also a founding member of the BD-NYC collaboration, a local research group focused on brown dwarfs, from young M dwarfs to cool T and Y dwarfs. I am particularly interested in how atmospheric properties affect the spectra of these objects, and other group members Jackie Fahtery and Kelle Cruz focus on kinematics and spectroscopy.
I completed my graduate studies in the Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UCLA in 2009. My thesis is titled "Physical Properties of Young Brown Dwarfs: High-Resolution, Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Young M and L Dwarfs". In a nutshell I compared J-band NIRSPEC echelle spectra to synthetic spectra I created with the PHOENIX model atmosphere code. The first paper from my thesis has been published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement, available here.
I am committed to increasing public understanding of and appreciation for astronomy (and science in general). As a postdoc at AMNH I was the astrophysics content adviser for Science Bulletins and I created content for the Cosmic Discoveries iPhone App. I currently curate astronomy-related fashion on STARorialist and organize/host science presentations at bars with Astronomy on Tap. Last but not least, I occasionally give presentations at the Hayden Planetarium.