My long-term research program is focused on pursuing new frontiers in stellar astrophysics by approaching massive stars as fundamental cosmological tools. By combining multi-wavelength observations and theoretical modeling of evolving massive stars, star-forming galaxies, and transient phenomena such as SNe and GRBs, we can make new strides towards understanding these critical objects and effectively utilizing them to take full advantage of the frontiers that will be opened up by future facilities such as the ELTs, JWST, LSST, and WFIRST.
I lead the Massive Stars research group at UW. Some of our current research projects include observational studies of evolved massive stars (red supergiants, luminous blue variables, yellow supergiants, and Wolf-Rayet stars); searching for (more) Thorne-Zytkow objects; imaging massive star circumstellar environments and mass loss; modeling the evolution of massive stellar populations and their ionizing flux; resolved ISM studies of GRB and supernova host galaxies; binary massive star systems and populations; and the role of these stars as the progenitors of gravitational waves. We’re also working on a data sonification project called TransientZoo that allows participants, including people who are visually impaired, to classify lightcurves via sound.
(we also occasionally
mess with study spiders)
Interested in joining the UW Massive Stars research group? If you’re a prospective grad student, the best way to express your interest is to apply to the UW Astronomy grad program! You’re encouraged to share what sort of research interests you as part of your application, but we admit people into our program as a whole (not into specific groups, so there’s no need to email potential advisers ahead of time!), and applying is the best way for us to learn about who you are and why you’re interested in joining the department. Our deadline for 2020 is December 15th, and you can learn more about the application process here (note that we dropped the Physics GRE from our application years ago – you can read more about research on the PGRE here – and dropped the General GRE for 2020)
Previous group members:
*Postdoctoral researchers: Jamie Lomax (2016-2018; went on to tenure-track faculty position at the US Naval Academy)
*Graduate students: Kathryn Neugent (2017-2021; went on to Dunlap Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Toronto), Kolby Weisenburger (2015-2017; went on to position as a data analyst at Ellevation Education), Erika Zetterlund (2014- 2015; went on to complete PhD from CU Boulder)
*Undergraduate: Keyan Gootkin (2018-2021; went on to grad school at the University of Hawaii), Tzvetelina Dimitrova (2020-2021; went on to grad school at Arizona State University), Annie Shoemaker (2020; went on to grad school at Montana State University), Megan Kokoris (2019-2020; went on to grad school at Oregon State University); Aislynn Wallach (2018-2019; went on to grad school at Boston University); Locke Patton (2016-2018; went on to grad school at Harvard University); Mallory Thorp (2016-2017; went on to grad school at University of Victoria); Jeffrey Jennings (2015-2016; went on to grad school at Cambridge); Nathen Nguyen (2016; went on to grad school at Universidad de Chile); Michelle Villenueve (2014-2015; went on to grad school at CU Boulder)