STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS

To understand stars, we must develop methods capable of accurately determining their properties (masses, radii, elemental abundances, etc.). Current methods are bogged down by observational constraints or only work accurately within a subset of the HR diagram. Cool stars (<5200 K) are particularly difficult to model due to dense forests of molecular lines in their optical and NIR spectra.

I work on developing data-driven methods that can accurately predict properties of such cool stars, with an eye towards correlating these properties with those of the planets they host. For more details, see our paper:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.00094

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As the precursors to planetary systems, protoplanetary disks are of the utmost importance when it comes to understanding planet formation. However, many key aspects of protoplanetary disks remain unknown...

 

We know very little about disk ionization, which heavily influences both disk chemistry and dynamics - in turn influencing planetary compositions and formation sites.

I investigate the ionization conditions of disks using molecular ion observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). We want to constrain ionization rates, and learn what primarily ionizes disks throughout their lifetimes.

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PLANET FORMATION / PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

PLANET FORMATION / PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

PLANET FORMATION / PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

As the precursors to planetary systems, protoplanetary disks are of the utmost importance when it comes to understanding planet formation. However, many key aspects of protoplanetary disks remain unknown; we know very little about disk ionization, which heavily influences both disk chemistry and dynamics - in turn influencing planetary compositions and formation sites.

I investigate the ionization conditions of disks using molecular ion observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). We want to constrain ionization rates, and learn what primarily ionizes disks throughout their lifetimes.

LABORATORY ASTROCHEMISTRY

Simple hydrocarbons are common in planet forming environments. Constraining their snowline locations allows us to make predictions of where these molecules exist in the ice vs. gas-phase during the different stages of star and planet formation, giving us a sense of the compositions of solid and gaseous material that contribute to forming planets.

I used laboratory experiments to constrain the desorption temperatures of several 2 and 3-carbon hydrocarbons. Desorption temperatures can be used to derive binding energies, which in turn can be used to estimate snowline locations. This work was conducted under Karin Öberg at the CfA. For more details, see our paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.09720

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