Las Campanas Observatory, Chile during an observing run at the twin 6.5m Magellan Telescopes, Clay (left) and Baade (right).  

I am a NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Michigan Department of Astronomy. Broadly speaking, I investigate the formation of stars smaller than the Sun and the initial conditions necessary to form proto-planets around these stars.

In particular I study the evolution of dust from small, interstellar-type grains at the beginning of this process to larger bodies at the onset of planet formation. I am also interested in the feedback produced by dust processing on the circumstellar disk structure and potential implications this has for dynamics in the planet-forming region.

As part of the Spitzer IRS_Disks team, I have made use of large sets of both GTO and archival Spitzer Space Telescope data at mid-infrared wavelengths. I have also acquired experience with smaller data sets of my own with instruments from different observatories at other wavelengths, such as Magellan MIKE and MagE (visible), IRTF SpeX (near-infrared), and Herschel PACS (far-infrared). Since they require a blend of observation and theory, I have also begun to work with radiative transfer models created by Paola D'Alessio and Nuria Calvet for reproducing the spectral energy distributions of circumstellar disks and protostellar envelopes, respectively.

For more details about publications, past research projects and collaborations, or biographical information, please browse through the tabs located at the top of the page.