Over the course of my professional career, I’ve cultivated some varied research interests in astronomy. My primary focus is studying low mass stars and brown dwarfs, with a focus on observational and computational techniques. However, I’ve also taken part in a variety of projects ranging from our solar system, to other galaxies and beyond. Below is a list of some of these projects, carried out on a variety of campuses and research institutions.

  1.   I currently do research with Boston University (BU) Professor Catherine Espaillat, observing and modeling disks around young stars. By understanding the structure and evolution of disks, we can begin to answer important and fascinating questions surrounding the formation of planetary systems, glimpsing the earliest of primordial solar systems.

  1. My first project at BU was studying the neutral atmosphere of Mars alongside Professor Paul Withers. This involved taking measurements from a myriad of satellites and landers to construct continuous profiles of density, temperature, and pressure from the ground to the upper atmosphere. By constructing these profiles over different areas in the atmosphere, and at different seasons, we can begin to reveal more detail of how the neutral atmosphere changes and evolves over time and space.

  1. In my senior year at the College of Staten Island (CSI), I worked with Professor Emily Rice on a senior thesis project. I characterized neutral potassium absorption features in near-IR, high-resolution spectra of M, L, and T dwarfs in order to better understand how these features change with both temperature and gravity strength. My work contributed to a larger brown dwarf research group, BDNYC, which meets at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in Manhattan. While a part of this group, I helped build a spectra database in Python, wrote blog entries about my research techniques and programs I was using, and participated in discussions among group members about our projects.

  1. In the summer of 2011, I participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Northern Arizona University, working with Drs. David Trilling and Cesar Fuentes on a project to discover new Kuiper Belt Objects in archival Hubble data.

Projects I’ve worked on:


Courtesy of NASA

  1. In 2010, I worked with Professor Kelle Cruz on a project at both CUNY Hunter College and the AMNH as part of the CUNY-SURP (Yeah, I know, a lot of acronyms). For this project, I looked for a possible correlation between two spectral indicators of youth (H-Alpha emission and Na absorption) in M dwarf stars. For both this and my senior thesis project, I worked extensively with the public Python program Sherpa, using it to make equivalent width measurements of the spectral features being studied.

  1. Also in 2010, I worked on two projects with Professor Irving Robbins at CSI. The first was an asteroid tracking project, using data from our own astrophysical observatory as well as data from the Tenagra Observatories in AZ. For the second project, I helped built a radio antenna to mount on our observatory to study solar flares, in collaboration with the SID project at Stanford University.

  1. In the summer of 2009, I worked with a research team under Professor Charles Liu at the AMNH. We classified the morphologies of a sample of galaxies in the COSMOS survey in order to determine if Compact Narrow Emission-Line Galaxies (CNELGs) were a statistically separate classification of galaxy or just a smattering of random galaxies.