Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Astrophysics (2022)
M.S., California Institute of Technology, Astrophysics (2018)
M.Phil., University of Cambridge, Astronomy (2017)
B.S., North Carolina State University, Physics and Mathematics (2016)

Research Interests

Galaxy formation and evolution, galactic archaeology, star formation, supernovae

“Where do we come from?” My research group approaches this question from two very different perspectives. First: where do the constituent particles that make up everything we see on Earth—the periodic table of elements—come from? And second: how did our own home, the Milky Way, come to be?

To address these research questions, we use observations of low-mass “dwarf” galaxies in the nearby universe. These dwarf galaxies are numerous (for every Milky Way-like galaxy, there are hundreds or even thousands of dwarf galaxies!) and relatively simple, making them ideal laboratories for testing astrophysical hypotheses.

One of the techniques we use to study dwarf galaxies is called “galactic archaeology.” In the same way that archaeologists here on Earth study the materials left behind by past humans in order to learn how they lived and died, we study the chemical elements left behind by past generations of stars to learn about past events in a galaxy and the origins of the elements.

We also try to understand how dwarf galaxies form and evolve. Massive galaxies like the Milky Way are built up of smaller galaxies, so understanding how dwarf galaxies form is crucial for understanding how our own galaxy came to be. We study the processes of star formation and chemical enrichment in dwarf galaxies, as well as how dwarf galaxies are affected by their large-scale environments.

Teaching Interests

Although stars and galaxies aren’t a regular feature in most people’s day-to-day lives, I think astronomy is a useful (and cool!) way to learn critical thinking and quantitative skills that are important in the “real world.” I also firmly believe that the ability to communicate about science—in as many forms as possible—is a crucial skill for everyone, and one that I aim to practice with my students. Finally, I believe that how we do science is just as important as the science itself. I am interested in connecting “traditional” physics and astronomy courses with other disciplines—history, ethics, racial and gender studies—to understand the systems that underlie Western scientific thought.

Awards and Honors

Stanford Science Fellow, 2022-2023
Caltech Three Minute Thesis, First Prize and People’s Choice winner, 2021
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016–2021
Winston Churchill Scholarship, 2016-2017