Previous Research

Here are some of the projects that I got started on when I launched in to this world of astrophysics

Stars : gigantic balls of hydrogenn


Investigating Stellar Open Clusters

Hunting for Exoplanets

Searching for Twin Stars

Institutions : CalTech, Fisk and Vanderbilt University

Collaborators : John R. Stauffer, Fred J. Vrba, and Keivan Stassun

Project timescale : Master's thesis : 2009 - 2011

Central Question of my project:

Do low mass stars in the Pleiades have temperature anomalies that are inconsistent with model predictions?

Result :

We obtained photometry for 348 stars. In our photometry, I identified 48 new binaries and 1 triple system. I refined the 100 Myr isochrone with the new photometry. We found that there is a positive correlation between rapid rotation and the observed temperature anomalies.

Presentations of work :

2013 : Our paper is in the submission phase

2011 : Fisk masters defense + masters thesis

2010 : Fisk University Research Poster Day

(2nd prize winner of Student Poster Contest)

2010 : Poster presentation at the American Astronomical Society


Institution : European Space Agency, Noordwijk, NL

Collaborators : Malcolm Fridlund & Stephania Carpano

Project timescale: Research Associate. : Spr, Sum. 2008

Central Question of my project:

How can we find an exoplanet signal using the space based telescope CoRoT?

Result :

I developed search algorithms to identify candidates with both stellar activity and planet candidates. Also, my algorithms were used to identify false positives in the data pipeline.


Institution : Exeter and Cambridge University

Collaborators : Suzanne Aigrain, Aude Alapini Odunlade, & Leslie Hebb

Project timescale : Summer, Fall 2007

Central Question of my project:

How can we find binary stars in data from a ground-based mission Super-WASP?

Result :

We identified 48 candidates that were used in follow up observations at Las Palmas, Canary Islands


Cosmology : study of the entire universe

Understanding Dark Energy Models

Building a Gravitational Lensing Tool

Mapping Large Scale Structure

Institution : Vanderbilt University

Collaborators : Andreas Berlind

Project timescale : Semester Independent Study 2011

Central Question of my project :

What are the current models of dark energy? And how do we hope to make progress at understanding it?

Result :

I did a survey of the field and presented my work to the research groups at Vanderbilt and Fisk University

Institution : University of Hawaii, Manoa

Collaborators : Paul Surdej, Paul H.I. Coleman

Project timescale : Summer REU 2006

Central Question of my project :

Can we demonstrate the optical phenomenon of gravitational lensing using reflections rather than refraction?

Result :

I used a reflective sheet to build a light cone that can demonstrate in the classroom how gravitational lensing works. My light cone is currently used Astronomy 101 classes at the University of Hawaii.

Institution : University of Hawaii, Manoa

Collaborators : Paul H.I. Coleman

Project timescale : Summer REU 2006

Central Question of my project :

Using the galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, can we measure how the galaxy clusters on large scales?

Result :

I used the statistical methods of Dr. Paul Coleman to verify that clustering at large scales exhibits fractal like behavior.

Image Credit : (1) Robert Gendler (2)PHL @ UPR Arecibo , ESA/Hubble, NASA (3) Stanlekub through Wikipedia Commons (4) (5) (6) LANR