I am an observational astrophysicist interested in the processes which shape the evolution of galaxies. I am particularly interested in the role that massive stars and active galactic nuclei (AGN) play in shaping the evolution of their host galaxies. These power sources are capable of pumping energy and momentum into the interstellar medium (ISM) on galactic scales. An incomplete understanding of the complex interaction between galactic-scale winds and the ISM in galaxies can significantly bias models of galactic chemical evolution and star formation. My work focuses on bringing observational evidence to bear on questions regarding the mechanisms by which hot stars and AGN heat, recycle, transport, and redistribute star-forming gas and dust in their host galaxies.
Observational data acquired from ground-based and spaced-based observatories are the cornerstone of my work. Most of my projects involve a combination of multi-wavelength archival data and my own observations. I rely on various programming languages to process data and make statistical inferences about astrophysical phenomena.
I am currently a postdoctoral scholar at UC Irvine, working with Dr. Vivian U to understand the impact of AGN outflows on their parent luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs). I am using the Keck Cosmic Wave Imager (KCWI) to map the distribution and kinematics of the ionized gas in and around nearby LIRGS. These observations will provide a means of characterizing galactic mass-loss rates, the redistribution of metals in the ISM, outflow heating sources, and the coupling of dust to outflows out to very large radii (>10 kpc). Our team will combine JWST observations of the obscured central kpc regions of the LIRGS with the wide-field KCWI data to provide a holistic view of the multiphase outflows and their impact on the evolution of the host galaxies and the circumgalactic medium.
I earned my PhD in astrophysics from the Indiana University Department of Astronomy, working with Prof. Catherine Pilachowski on photometric studies of the stellar populations of globular clusters near the Galactic bulge. Before coming to Indiana University, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in physics from University of California Santa Cruz, and then my Master of Science degree in physics from San Francisco State University.
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