Originally from Tampa, Florida, I attended the University of Florida beginning in 2012. I graduated Summa cum Laude in the fall of 2016 with a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy as well as a minor in Mathematics. The following year, I entered the Astronomy and Astrophysics PhD program at the University of Michigan where I am currently a third year PhD candidate.
As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, I worked with Prof. Elizabeth Lada and Dr. Naibi Marinas on characterizing the circumstellar disk population of low-mass stars in embedded clusters with FLAMINGOS spectroscopy and Spitzer photometry. This work resulted in my senior thesis and a poster presentation at the 227th AAS Conference (see Publications page above for both). Additionally, I joined the biophysics laboratory of Prof. Stephen Hagen where I worked for two years on the effects of oxidative stress on the genetic competence network of Streptococcus mutans. My work in this lab was published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology in November 2017 (see Publications page above).
At present, I work with Prof. Michael Meyer and Dr. Megan Reiter on the characterization of binary star populations. I am a member of the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems group led by Prof. Meyer. My research involves the creation and implementation of an empirical double PSF-fitting code, capable of identifying companions with projected separations less than the diffraction limit. Using this tool, I characterized the M-type binary population of the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) at sparsely explored separations, 15 – 160 AU. We found no evidence for an excess in the binary frequency of the ONC relative to the Galactic field population over mass ratios and separations of 0.6 < q < 1.0 and 30 < a < 160 AU, respectively (see Publications page above for more details). I presented the results of this work at the 233rd AAS Conference in Seattle (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019AAS…23336402D/abstract) and at the “Understanding the Nearby Star-forming Universe with JWST” conference in Courmayeur, Italy. Currently, we are expanding our investigation to brown dwarf primaries in the ONC and IC 348, with results expected in the Summer of 2020.