about me

I am an astrophysicist on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution's Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), part of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), and a Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. Before that I was a Hubble Fellow at SAO, a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, and an undergraduate student at Northwestern University. I do research on planet formation in the disks of gas and dust that orbit around young stars, primarily using radio interferometer data.

I am the PI of DSHARP, an ALMA Large Program that imaged protoplanetary disks at very high angular resolution to study their small-scale substructures. You can learn more about the program in this Focus Issue from the Astrophysical Journal Letters or this press release from NRAO.

If you are more generally interested in the kind of research we do in the CfA disks group, please take a look at this recent review (or this slightly older review, which may be more pedagogical if outdated).

research program

Most of my current focus is on the four topics highlighted below (see a comprehensive list of publications for more information). However, I also spend time on projects related to debris disks, circumplanetary disks, astrochemistry, aperture synthesis techniques, radiative transfer modeling, and algorithm development (particularly inference/inversion problems using visibility data).

Small-Scale Disk Substructures

Characterizing gaps, rings, spirals, clumps, and other features that may play crucial roles in the planet formation process.

Evolution of Disk Solids

Predicting and observing the indirect signatures of the growth and migration of planetesimal pre-cursor particles.

Disk Demographics

Quantifying the relationships among the basic properties of disks, their host stars, and evolutionary states.

Fundamental Properties of Young Stars

Making novel measurements of the masses, atmospheric parameters, and accretion signatures for stars that host disks.

If you are a student interested in a junior/senior thesis topic or a research exam project, or if you want to discuss dissertation options (at Harvard or through the SAO pre-doc program), please contact me.

research group

The disks group at CfA is a dynamic mix of staff, postdoctoral fellows, and students with common research interests. We meet on Friday afternoons, in alternating weeks focused on disk observations and theory (led by myself) or astrochemistry (led by Karin Öberg). Send an email if you would like to join us.

I am currently advising graduate student Jane Huang as she works to finish her doctorate at Harvard in 2020. Previous students include Anjali Tripathi (PhD 2018), Ian Czekala (PhD 2016), Katherine Rosenfeld (PhD 2015), and Robert Harris (PhD 2013).

Although there are several independent postdocs in the group, I do not have an open postdoc position now. I currently help advise Dr. Nia Imara. Previous postdoctoral fellows include Dr. Til Birnstiel (2013-2015).

data / notes

The buttons below link to commonly-requested data repositories and some informal notes / presentations about various technical issues that might be of use to colleagues.


Upcoming travel: Feb 7-8 (NRAO Socorro); Mar 4-6 (Northwestern); Apr 10-12 (Michigan); Apr 15-17 (Princeton/IAS); Jun 23-28 (GRC)

  • Address

    60 Garden Street, MS 42
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    United States; (map)
  • Phone

  • Email