about me

I am an astrophysicist on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution's Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (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.

research program

Most of my current focus is on the four topics highlighted below (see a recent review or 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.

The Harvard graduate students currently working with me are Anjali Tripathi and Jane Huang. Previous students include 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.

contact

Upcoming travel: Oct 1-5 (Kyoto); Nov 29-Dec 2 (Pasadena); Dec 10-15 (Shanghai)

  • Address

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

    +1-617-496-7645
  • Email

    sandrews[at]cfa.harvard.edu