I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and an Associated Faculty Member of the Dunlap Institute, at the University of Toronto. I also hold a Research Associate position at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institute for Science.
I am interested in understanding the evolution, influence, and ultimate fate of massive stars. In particular, I use ground and spaced-based telescopes to study supernova explosions and other exotic transients, as well as populations of massive stars in nearby galaxies. In 2017, I was a member of the team that was the first to identify the visual light from an event that generated gravitational waves detected on Earth. The event was the merger of two neutron stars, which resulted in a kilonova.
I earned a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard University in 2016 for my research on the use of peculiar transients as probes of stellar evolution and mass loss. During this time, I was part of the team that ran the PanSTARRS1 Medium Deep Survey. I previously earned a Master of Advanced Study in Theoretical Physics (M.A.St.) from the University of Cambridge in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Iowa in 2010. I was a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institute for Science from 2016 to 2018. I am originally from Eau Claire, WI.
Background Image: Hubble Space Telescope Image of Supernova Remnant 0509-68.7 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: NASA, ESA and Y.-H. Chu (Academia Sinica, Taipei)