Observational astronomer studying exoplanets
and advocating for inclusive environments.

I am an astronomer studying the atmospheres of transiting, hot, giant exoplanets, which are like our own Solar System gas giants, except that they orbit closer to their host stars than Mercury does to our Sun. I'm interested in the effect of the extreme environment found so close to a host star on the structure of the atmospheres, the confounding role of hazes, what the atmospheric abundances and differentiation can tell us about planet formation and evolution, and, finally, how we can use what we learn with Hot Jupiters, Saturns, and Neptunes to overcome the future challenges observing planets a bit more like our own. I work with Professor Drake Deming of the UMD Astronomy Department, where I have been a graduate student since Fall 2010. I anticipate defending my PhD in Summer 2017. I also spend significant time advocating for equity, inclusion, and increased access to science and academia, and am trying to practice active, mindful allyship. I am very interested in enabling excellent research and academic pursuits while also changing the historically constricted boundaries on who gets to be a scientist or, more broadly, an academic and intellectual. Such change requires active work to dismantle discriminatory policies and practices at all levels of society, including those within the hierarchy of academia.