I completed my PhD in Astronomy at Cornell University working in the Submillimeter Astrophysics and Instrumentation group led by Prof. Gordon Stacey. Previously I was a high school chemistry and physics teacher in Baltimore, MD through Teach For America. After leaving Cornell I worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy with Dr. Fabian Walter before and in January 2016 I will move to Winona State University as an Assistant Professor of Physics.
I like to describe my research as "extreme science". To do submillimeter astronomy and observe submillimeter radiation--light with wavelengths just shorter than 1 millimeter--we have to go to extreme locations like Mauna Kea, Hawai’i, the Atacama desert in Chile or the South Pole. These locations allow us to get above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere that absorbs submillimeter radiation. We also have to use extreme technologies that operate at just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. These extreme locations and technologies allow us to study extremely massive and bright galaxies in the early Universe in unique ways. Theses studies help us learn how galaxies have evolved over cosmic time to the produce galaxies we have today, like our own Milky Way.
In addition to my scholarly pursuits l have been active in graduate student leadership as the President of the Astronomy Grads Network, a member of the Cornell Graduate & Professional Student Assembly, and Treasurer of the Graduate & Professional Student Programming Board. I also do science outreach through the Ask An Astronomer Podcast, Focus For Teens, and as the organizer and emcee of Ask An Astronomer, LIVE! and Nerd Nite Ithaca.
Occasionally I am known to sing karaoke.