Planetary Interiors and Evolution Postdoctoral Fellow
I am a planetary physicist working with the Virtual Planet Laboratory (located in the Astronomy Department) at the University of Washington in Seattle WA to explore the influence of planetary interiors on habitability.
I am developing models of the evolution of Earth and terrestrial planets. I am currently involved in several research projects: (1) Investigating the evolution of Earth's core through direct numerical simulation of 3D magnetohydrodynamic dynamo models coupled to evolving boundary conditions derived from mantle, inner core, and rotation rate histories, and comparing these models to paleomagnetic measurements; (2) Exploring the influences of mantle melting, internal heating, and tidal dissipation on the thermal, magnetic, and orbital evolution of Earth, Venus, and other terrestrial planets; (3) Development of Earth system box models to explore the first-order interactions between interiors, atmospheres, and magnetic fields over geological time scales, and their implications for habitability.
Prior to joining the VPL, from 2012-2013 I collaborated with the Open Earth System research group as an NSF Postdoctoral Associate in the Geology and Geophysics Department at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
From 2010-2012 as a Bateman Fellow at Yale I investigated the influence of planetary magnetic fields on atmospheric escape, the effects of heat loss due to melting on the thermal history of the Earth, and how magnetic field polarity bias relates to reversal frequency in the Phanerozoic and Precambrian.
I earned my Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2010. The subject of my Ph.D. thesis was numerical dynamo modeling of magnetic field reversals, core evolution, and the possibility of detecting dynamos in terrestrial exoplanets (so-called "exodynamos").
Prior to my doctoral studies at JHU I was a member of the California and Carnegie Planet Search Team at San Francisco State University, where I earned a M.S. in Physics in 2006. My research focused on developing statistical methods for estimating planetary parameters from exoplanet radial velocity observations.
- Thermal Evolution of Earth (mantle and core cooling, magnetic field history, carbon cycling, 1D climate modelling, Earth-Venus dichotomy)
- Planetary Dynamos (geomagnetic polarity reversals, core-mantle boundary influence, inner core growth history, numerical dynamo modeling)
- Exoplanets (internal structure, thermal evolution, exo-magnetic detection, hot Jupiter dynamos)