About Me
 
 
I grew up in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, a small town on the Eastern coast of Canada. As an undergraduate, I spent the school terms studying Honours Physics-Mathematics at the University of Ottawa, and spent the summers researching meteors (shooting stars) at Mount Allison University. I decided to attend MIT for graduate studies because I knew that at MIT I’d be challenged to become the best scientist I can be. Now I’m a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, in both Astronomy and Planetary Sciences. I feel tremendously grateful for the chance to contemplate exoplanets and other astrophysical puzzles as my profession!
 
 
As hobbies, I love dancing (ballet and modern), and karate. At MIT, I enjoyed participating in the MIT Graduate Women in Physics, MIT Physics REFS (Resources for Easing Friction and Stress), and the Sidney-Pacific Graduate Community. Now that I’m at Caltech, I’ve enjoyed co-organizing the inaugural year of the Caltech Planetary Discussion Group, helping under-served youth build their own solar-powered mass rovers, and continuing the exolab group meetings.
 
With my PhD Committee after successfully defending my thesis.
Just before successfully passing my black belt test.
 
Ode to Planetary Astronomy 2012
 
 
In this little poem, we will delve
into the major planetary discoveries of 2012.
 
Kepler has now released more than 3000 KOIs.
Many are validated and confirmed, including the first sub-Earth-sized.
 
As we debate his birth, the man in the moon watches, grinning. 
Did he go through a phase of resonant de-spinning?
 
The transit of Venus drew crowds of young and old! 
Clear skies in Pasadena; Boston was... overcast and cold. 
 
With the detection of CO in the planet 'round tau boo,
we may soon study the atmospheres of other non-transiting planets too. 
 
Through 7 minutes of terror, the world held their breadth, fixed their eyes.
(Hey, could someone introduce me to "NASA Mohawk guy"?) 
 
An amazing testament to JPL's engineering virtuosity,
the sky-crane gently lowered, MSL Curiosity.
 
Voyager 1 is still coasting away,
heliopause-bound on the magnetic highway!
 
A young free-floating planet was imaged in the infrared,
but if not in the AB Doradus Moving Group, it could be a brown dwarf instead.
 
The Swiss found a planet 'round a nearby alpha Cen star.
Let’s send a rover there. Four light years is not THAT far!
 
We're finding planets galore! Get the press on the phone!
Toward longer periods, smaller radii, we approach the habitable zone...
 
Provided, Dec 21st finds there was no reason to fear,
Will twenty-thirteen be our lucky year?
 
A little poem that I wrote for the year-end meeting of the Planetary Discussion Group: