ABOUT ME

I am an astrophysicist using the tools of data science to explore fundamental questions about the universe. My research is at the intersection of supernova cosmology and gravitational lensing — using the warping of spacetime to observe magnified stellar explosions and measure the expansion rate of the universe. I am also passionate about teaching and public outreach. I have helped develop innovative astronomy courses at UofSC, a series of public lectures for the community, and the UofSC Python for STEM summer workshop. Read more below about my research, teaching, and current projects.

CV (pdf)

Research

I have led the supernova science teams for several large Hubble Space Telescope (HST) survey programs, and am now the PI for a 3-year HST "Target of Opportunity" program called LensWatch (read more below). I am also working to prepare for the next generation of wide-field transient surveys, including the Vera Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope Supernova Cosmology Survey.

Current Projects Publications list on NASA ADS
chalkboard

Teaching

At UofSC I have developed new astronomy courses, added new elements like Peer Led Team Learning, and have supported training for graduate students as teachers (partnering with the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators). In 2018 I was awarded the Garnet Apple Award for excellence in teaching and in 2019 I joined the College of Arts & Sciences Incubator for Teaching Innovation. Working with a team of UofSC grad students, I have also helped to launch the "Python for STEM" workshop, a summer program that teaches Python programming skills to UofSC students and the surrounding community.

Current and former students

Projects and Collaborations

LensWatch

The LensWatch collaboration aims to observe the next gravitationally lensed supernova with a measurable time delay. With ground-based monitoring efforts we are watching known strong-lensing systems. Our multi-cycle HST program is ready to provide the follow-up observations needed to turn the next lensed SN into a tool for measuring the expansion rate of the universe.

Visit the LensWatch Team Site

Space Telescope Supernova Surveys

While at Johns Hopkins University I managed the Supernova science team for the CANDELS+CLASH HST Treasury programs. I was then PI of the FrontierSN program, searching for transients in the Hubble Frontier Fields. I've also contributed to the RELICS and BUFFALO multi-cycle HST programs. I have recently served as a member of the supernova science investigation team for the Roman Space Telescope, preparing for the future of wide-field transient surveys from space.

More about the Roman Space Telescope

Vera Rubin Observatory

Transient science in this decade will be transformed by the revolutionary new Vera Rubin Observatory. This wide-field telescope in Chile will scan the entire visible sky every two weeks as part of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). As a member of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration, I am working to prepare for the flood of data that the LSST will deliver. In particular, I am working with students to develop software tools that will be needed to analyze the LSST data for gravitationally lensed supernovae. This includes an image analysis pipeline on the LSST Science Platform that will apply machine learning tools for detection of multiply-imaged supernovae, as well as a software toolkit for lensed supernova time delay simulation, measurement and cosmological analysis.

Learn more about the Rubin Observatory and LSST

Software Development

All of my research efforts use open-source software tools for image processing, simulation and data analysis. Some examples of my own open-source projects include a supernova classification tool (STARDUST2) and an HST image processing pipeline (sndrizpipe). I've also supervised student development of the SNTD package for supernova time delay measurement and the BYOSED package that enables spectro-photometric supernova simulations for cosmology (part of the SALT3 project).

  My public github repos