University of Arizona
Professor, Department of Astronomy, & Astronomer, Steward Observatory
All branches of astronomy and astrophysics intrigue me, and my work has encompassed observational surveys and techniques, theory, and instrument design. My LSST-related interests include:
- Uncovering the details of merger-induced transitions of galaxies from gas-rich, star-forming disks to gas-poor, quiescent spheroids
- Isolating the physical connections between astrophysical transients, including LIGO-detected kilonovae, and the properties of their host galaxies
- Finding the best “compound,” i.e., multi-plane, gravitational lensing systems for detecting the first galaxies
- Measuring the contribution of the intracluster starlight to the total baryons in galaxy clusters and comparing the result to the expectations from Big Bang cosmology
As a member of UA’s Data7 Science Institute, I have a strong interest in using machine learning and visualization tools to classify LSST transients—at the moment of discovery, instead of waiting for a lightcurve—solely from archival data available for their host galaxies. With Jennifer (Jeno) Sokoloski, I was responsible for formulating the idea of the Catalyst Fellowship, including its focus on mentorship, scientific leadership development, and expanding opportunities for women, underrepresented groups, and non-R1 institutions. Over the past several years, I have worked with LSST-DA and representatives from the SCs to develop a detailed plan for the Catalyst Fellowship program. I co-Ied the successful +$7M proposal to the Templeton Foundation for the program. Other initiatives include helping secure support from the Helsing-Simons Foundation and then co-organizing the resulting Rubin Observatory Project & Community Workshop 2020 session: Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into New LSSTC Programs.