I am a graduate student and research assistant in astronomy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, working in the area of extragalactic astrophysics with an emphasis on infrared and submm studies of the role of environment in galaxy evolution.
I received my B.S. in Astronomy and Physics in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where I worked under Dr. Robert Brunner and Dr. Nick Ball on applying robust machine learning techniques to astronomical datasets, specifically identifying accurate photometric redshifts for galaxies and quasars. I also worked as a teaching assistant at UIUC for one year, leading multiple discussion sections in an introductory astronomy class.
In my first year of graduate studies at UMass, I worked with Dr. Daniela Calzetti, examining stellar populations in the outer disks of spiral galaxies. I also taught an observational astronomy course for my teaching assistant requirement. In my second year, I switched projects, as is a program requirement, to work with Dr. Grant Wilson on identifying the multi-wavelength counterparts to submillimeter galaxies at high redshift.
For my thesis, I am working with Dr. Alexandra Pope on galaxy clusters out to high redshift as seen by Herschel. We are examining the role of environment in the star formation activity of cluster galaxies are compared to the field, specifically looking for the epoch at which clusters transition from the characteristically passive evolution of local clusters to active formation and mass assembly. I was awarded the UMass Graduate School Fellowship for 2011-2012.