"Stellar Mortician"

The Young Supernova Experiment (YSE)

I am a member of the YSE (Young Supernova Experiment), which utilizes large surveys' consistent stream of photometry to catch extremely young supernovae as they happen in real time. Often we combine this knowledge with spectroscopy to identify transients, we perform a multi-wavelength follow-up to tell the story of truly outstanding events. (Publication in prep.)


I've earned the nickname "Stellar Mortician" for my love of dead stars and the way I piece together their exact processes at the end of their lives. I find it fascinating that gravity, something we take for granted every day, creates awe-inspiring behemoths like black holes and neutron stars, in the matter of an instant!

Mass Loss in Hydrogen-Stripped SNe

I work with my advisor, Raffaella Margutti, to utilize the entire electromagnetic spectrum towards this end. I study spectra, photometry, X-ray, and radio data. Currently, I use the software I have written to model synchrotron radiation (radio) and Free-Free Absorption (Bremsstrahlung) radiation (radio and X-ray) of Ibc/IIb supernovae shock waves.

These shocks probe the outer environment of the star, and tell us vital information about how much mass a star lost before it died. We still don't understand exactly how stars lose mass... which is a piece of the explosion-puzzle I am putting together! (Publications in prep.)

Thorne-Zytkow Objects

Another fun project I've been working is finding TZOs: Thorne-Zytkow Objects. These strange beasts are quite literally a red supergiant star with a neutron star core. As you can imagine, to our eyes they may easily masquerade as simple red supergiants, but to a gravitational wave detector, these would look like neutron stars! (Publication in prep.)