I'm studying the megaparsec-scale environments of hyperluminous quasars (QSOs) at the peak epochs of star formation and black hole accretion (2 < z < 3). My work has primarily been done using optical images and spectra from the LRIS instrument on the 10-m Keck 1 telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory, but I am also utilizing data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the newly-commissioned near-infrared imager and spectrograph MOSFIRE, for which I was part of the instrument team.
My current research falls under several related topics, which I describe below (on the left). On the right, you can find a glossary of terms involved in my research, just in case you have not spent the better part of your life neck-deep in extragalactic astronomy (ie. Mom, Dad, this part's for you).
A list of my publications can be found at the ADS.
Host Halos of HLQSOs
Hyperluminous QSOs (HLQSOs) are extremely bright and exceedingly rare; these objects are brighter than 10^14 solar luminosities, and there are likely only a few dozen of them in the observable universe.
By studying the spatial and velocity distribution of galaxies near the HLQSOs, we were able to determine that the HLQSOs sit in dark-matter halos of similar masses to those hosting lower-luminosity AGN and typical star-forming galaxies at these redshifts. In addition, we found that the HLQSOs are associated with high local densities of galaxies, which suggests that recent galaxy mergers are more important than halo mass in producing efficient (ie. hyperluminous) black-hole accretion.
The IGM Near HLQSOs
The Case of HS1549+1919