About me

I'm a PhD student at Caltech working with Prof. Chuck Steidel to study the physical conditions in star-forming galaxies at redshifts 2-3 with the Keck Baryonic Structure Survey (KBSS). We're using complementary rest-optical and rest-UV spectra from the MOSFIRE and LRIS spectrographs on the Keck 10 m telescope to simultaneously constrain the stellar and nebular properties of these galaxies. In particular, we're looking to characterize stellar and nebular abundances, ISM kinematics and dynamics, and dust attenuation.

In my spare time, I run the Caltech Ballet Club, which offers weekly ballet classes for both Caltech students and the broader community. Check out our website!

Research

  • The Keck Baryonic Structure Survey (KBSS)

    The KBSS is comprised of 15 independent fields, each of which is centered on one of the brightest optical quasars in the sky. High-resolution spectroscopy of the central QSOs provides detailed information about the IGM and CGM along each QSO sightline. The galaxies are selected from deep optical and near-infrared imaging so as to provide a large dynamic range of galaxy properties, and followed up with spectroscopy in the rest-UV from Keck/LRIS and in the rest-optical from Keck/MOSFIRE.

  • Learn More
  • The KBSS-LM project

    In late 2014, our research group began a new observing program using LRIS-B+R to follow up a representative subset of the full KBSS-MOSFIRE dataset with complete nebular emission line measurements in the J, H, and K bands, in order to construct a more homogeneous rest-UV data set designed to be used simultaneously with the MOSFIRE spectra. This sample of galaxies with high-quality spectra from both MOSFIRE and LRIS-B+R is referred to as KBSS-LRIS/MOSFIRE (KBSS-LM). Steidel et al. (2016) conducted a pilot survey, referred to as "KBSS-LM1," using initial observations with the first two KBSS-LM slitmasks. The bulk of my thesis work will be focused on the full KBSS-LM sample, consisting of ~185 galaxies. The goal is to develop a self-consistent framework incorporating photoionization modeling, stellar population synthesis model fitting, and SED fitting in order to simultaneously constrain the stellar and nebular properties of the same galaxies.

  • Learn More
  • Stellar and nebular dust attenuation

    In an upcoming paper, I use a set of 189 complementary rest-optical and rest-UV spectra to examine stellar and nebular dust attenuation, parameterized by the reddening E(B-V), for the same galaxies. In general, nebular attenuation is greater than stellar attenuation; however, the relationship between these two quantities is complex and depends on other galaxy properties, including SFR. I also use comparisons of SFRs estimated by different means to constrain the stellar and nebular dust attenuation curve, and find that no one curve is able to satisfactorily match all the observed constraints.
  • ISM kinematics and dynamics

    Further work will focus on examining the wealth of interstellar absorption lines apparent in the rest-UV spectra in order to study the kinematics of galaxy-wide outflows.