About Me

As a graduate student at the University of Kansas, I work with Dr. Ian Crossfield characterizing exoplanets and the stars that host them. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, my love for astronomy began at El Camino Community College in Gardena, CA. I transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara and recieved my Bachelor's degree in physics with a minor in astronomy.

When I'm not studying worlds beyond our Solar System, I spend time exploring the planet we call home. I hike, rock climb, and photograph anywhere I can (although, the Southwest U.S. is my favorite). I also am self-teaching myself (rather slowly) trumpet and German.


I work to characterize planets beyond our Solar System and understand the connection between them and their host star. My research involves data taken from many different instruments and telescopes and utlizes machine learning to efficiently expand our knowledge of extrasolar systems in an effort to shed light on the planet-star connection.

JWST Abundance Research Note

In July 2022 my collaborators and I published a research note reporting chemical abundances for 25 stars that JWST will observe in its first year. These are some figures that help visualize our results. Errorbars are representative of the average uncertainty. JWST targets are overlayed on a density map of my sample of ~4,500 stars for which I have determined abundances using KeckSpec, an implementation of the Cannon. These abundances will be released in a forthcoming catalog.

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Weighing a Planet

How much does a planet weigh? Or, more precisely, how massive are exoplanets?
The answer to this question is crucial to give us insight on what a planet may be made of but a planet's mass cannot be measured from a K2 or TESS lightcurve alone.

As a member of the TESS-Keck Survey, I regularly use the High Resolution Spectrometer (HIRES) at Keck Observatory to measure the radial velocity signal of stars from which we derive the mass of a companion planet. As a result, I have contributed to the detection and characterization of multiple exoplanets.

Wolf 503b

The subject of my first primary-author paper was the mass determination of a sub-Neptune known as Wolf 503b. I collaborated with scientists of 9 nationalities using over one hundred radial velocity measurements from not only Keck/HIRES but also PFS, CARMENES, and HARPS-N. My work determined this 2 Earth radius planet to have a mass of 6.2 Earth masses opening the possibility of Wolf 503b have a substantial (~50%) water mass fraction or a respectably sized envelope of hydrogen/helium.

Read more about this system and its potential for future follow up here.

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Follow-up with Spitzer

The Spitzer space telescope was never meant to study exoplanets but, with some creative analysis of its sensor at the sub-pixel level, it served as an important tool for exoplanet follow up until its retirement in January 2020. I work with transit data acquired by the Infared Array Camera (IRAC) typically at a wavelenth of 4.5 microns. Uncertainties in orbital parameters grow linearly with time so your confidence in when a planet will next transit its star decreases as time goes on. Not only is a transit recovery from Spitzer important in confirming the existence of a planet (beyond a Kepler or TESS detection) but it also constrains the period of the orbit allowing us to make more accurate predictions of transit events for future investigations.

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The Links below showcase some of the effort I've made to make astronomy more accessible to public. I believe outreach is one of the most important responsibilites for a scientist - it's up to us to ensure the public understands the work we do.

Astronomy for the Public

I am one of the founding organizers of Astro Nights at the University of Kansas. Every second Thursday of the month we host a talk from one of our faculty or graduate students followed by a chance for the public to see the cosmos up close with one of the department telescopes. We currently have four 8 inch Cassegrain reflectors but the star of the show is the 14 inch Dobsonian donated to our department (allegedly signed by John Dobson himself).

Before Astro Nights, there was no regular outreach effort. The telescopes were scattered throughout the building until I was able to secure a dedicated room for their proper storage. Now since November 2021, we've been able to attract on average 50 visitors for each event and bring the universe just a little closer to the people of Lawrence.

Along with a talk each month, we also plan to use the ExoLab's new inflatable planetarium to host immersive presentations taking the audience from the surface of Mars to far away galaxies. This planetarium packs a large punch in small space. It's large enough to seat 20 people but packs down into large suitcase opening the opportunity to give planetarium shows throughout Kansas.

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Space Pop Art

I've started a series a mid-century pop art style posters commemorating some of astronomy's greatest hits. Each one comes with an informational backside explaining the impact each mission/instrument had on astronomy - perfect for your own outreach events!

Here are few of my favorites so far.

For the Kepler space telescope, this one shows a planet transiting its star with Kepler's charcteristic CCD chip array imprinted ontop.

This poster celebrates Hubble's contribution to probing exoplanet atmopsheres with the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument. Big thank you to Yoni Brande for writing the info blurb for this one.

Check out the rest of them on my Github

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