I'm an astrophysicist.
I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in Astronomy at Caltech.
I develop and exploit new optical and X-ray instruments to better understand the physics of compact objects like neutron stars and black holes.
ZTF will discover a young supernovae every night, identify rare classes of transients, and produce an all-sky variability catalog averaging 300 epochs per year. First light is expected in 2017.
Repeated optical imaging of the Galactic Plane can probe Galactic Structure with variable star populations and identify rare outbursting sources, but crowded fields makes automated photometry difficult.
With the benefit of a new PSF image-differencing pipeline, we are conducting a variability survey of the entire Northern Galactic Plane. Data obtained in 2013 and 2014 are already world-leading in epochs × areal coverage × depth.
I am particularly interested in using these data to identify new compact binaries as part of a larger project to classify unidentified X-ray sources with optical variability.
NuSTAR's high-sensitivity and continuous energy coverage enables some of the best spectroscopy of X-ray binaries. My analysis of the cyclotron line in the Be/X-ray binary GRO J1008-57 confirmed its high magnetic field.
Fermi has discovered many millisecond pulsars eclipsing and ablating low-mass companions--"Black Widow" systems. I am conducting photometric and radial-velocity followup to model these systems and measure the masses of the neutron stars.
Increasingly sensitive measurements of gamma-ray bursts continue to reveal new complexity in the emission mechanisms.
With NuSTAR, I discovered an unusual extra component in the late-time X-ray afterglow of the ultra-long GRB130925A. In contrast, NuSTAR data for the bright nearby GRB130427A was consistent with emission by a single mechanism.
In my dissertation, I evaluated multi-component "quasi-thermal" spectral models of the GRB prompt emission using RHESSI and Swift.