I am a sixth-year PhD Candidate in the astronomy department at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). I am interested in high-energy astrophysics and primarily focus on multiwavelength observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) but I also have worked on electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational waves (GWs) and X-ray and gamma-ray counterparts to fast radio bursts (FRBs). My PhD advisor is Dr. Brad Cenko at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
I completed my Bachelor's degree in Physics at West Virginia University where I worked with Prof. Loren Anderson on quantifying the clustering of star-forming regions within our Galaxy. While in undergrad I worked with Dr. Paul Green on modeling quasar emission as a damped random walk during a research experience for undergrads (REU) program at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I also completed a summer internship researching radio pulsars through the GROWTH-PIRE Program with Dr. Jason Hessels at the Anton Pannekoek Institue in Amersterdam, Netherlands.
In graduate school I have been priviledged to collarborate on several different projects spanning multiple groups. My master's thesis on high-energy counterparts to FRBs consisted of work I did with the GRB groups at both NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. I spent several weeks at Caltech helping with the commissioning of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) on Mount Palomar. During this time I took on multiple projects working directly under the head engineer and project scientists to monitor the quality of the preliminary raw optical data. After ZTF's first look I joined the multimessenger science working group to help create automated pipelines to process the large amount of optical data gathered during our follow-up of GW events. I now work primarily with Dr. Brad Cenko, Prof. Stuart Vogel (UMD), and Dr. Geoff Ryan (UMD/NASA GSFC) on multiwavelength observations and MCMC modeling of the afterglows of long GRBs detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). My observational data reduction experience includes the Very Large Array (VLA), Fermi LAT, Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), Swift X-ray Telescope (XRT), Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), and ZTF.
The header above is an incredible photo taken by Nicholas Buer in Northern Chile and highlighted by Astronomy Picture of the Day. Within the image one can see the Milky Way arch, the Moon, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, both the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, red airglow near the horizon, and the lights of several towns in the distance.