My research focuses on understanding the evolution of Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars, which are sun-sized stars towards the end of their lives. These highly evolved stars produce a significant amount of dust and contribute a tremendous amount of material back to the interstellar medium. I use primarily optical and infrared observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope and SOFIA airborne observatory to study how these stars contribute to the regeneration of the Universe. Currently, I am working on a joint Hubble-SOFIA observing program targeting a symbiotic binary system composed of a cool Mira variable and a hot white dwarf companion. This system is unique in that it is relaxing from a recent outburst (1975). We are probing this system in the ultraviolet and infrared to understand its recent evolution and study a range of poorly understood phenomena. I am also preparing for data from an accepted Hubble Cycle 30 proposal targeting the evolved stellar populations in DDO 68. This program will look at one of the most nearby analogs of high-redshift galaxies and will allow us to better understand stellar mass loss and dust production in the early Universe.
After my Ph.D., I was a postdoctoral fellow at STScI for four years in the ISM* Group. I then spent a year as a Scientist at the SOFIA observatory after which I returned to STScI as a Science Software Engineer.
PhD in Astrophysics, Keele University
BS in Physics, St. Lawrence University
- Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars
- Local group galaxies
- Mass loss
- Variable stars
- Symbiotic systems
Research Topics: Local Group Galaxies, Insterstellar Medium, Dust, Stellar Populations, Resolved Stellar Populations
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ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8937-3844