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I joined the faculty at Siena College as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2012, and received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in September 2018.  In June 2019 I began serving as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in Physics and Astrophysics, with a minor in English Literature, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000.  One of the highlights of my college career was the year I spent abroad at the Edinburgh University in Scotland, where I took classes at the Royal Observatory. I obtained both my Masters and Ph.D. degrees in astronomy from the University of Arizona.  I successfully defended my thesis, Spectral Diagnostics of Galaxy Evolution, in 2006 under the supervision of Profs. Robert Kennicutt Jr and Dennis Zartisky.

After obtaining my doctorate, I completed two 3-year post-doctoral research fellowships, first at New York University with Prof. Michael Blanton, and then at the University of California, San Diego with Prof. Alison Coil before joining the faculty at Siena College.

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Astronomy University of Arizona
M.S. Astronomy University of Arizona
B.A. Physics & Astrophysics University of California, Berkeley

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

My overarching approach to teaching is to combine short, interactive lectures with frequent opportunities for students to engage with the material directly. This approach is born out of a recognition that every student learns most effectively in different ways; therefore, I strive to introduce students to new material using a variety of distinct but complementary approaches. I use carefully crafted presentation slides which highlight the lesson's most important concepts, interspersed with frequent example problems which I work out on the board in order to demonstrate how students should approach different problems from astronomy and physics. I also strive to have an active classroom by using an assortment of peer-instruction techniques, as well as group whiteboarding, in which students work together on problems in small groups.
 

What I Love About Siena

The best part about teaching at Siena is the tremendous opportunity I have to establish meaningful relationships with my students, both within the classroom and through extracurricular outreach activities and research.

 

 

My Favorite Courses to Teach

My favorite classes to teach are the introductory, calculus-based general physics sequence, and the upper-level astrophysics classes we offer here at Siena.  In General Physics I have the opportunity to teach students taking their first "real" physics class, while in the upper-level astrophysics courses I have the opportunity to "dig deeper" with my students by exploring in greater detail a wide range of new and exciting topics in modern astrophysics.

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2019 - Now Department Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy Siena College
2018 - Now Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy Siena College
2012 - 2018 Assistant Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy Siena College
2009 - 2012 Postdoctoral Research Scholar UC San Diego, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
2006 - 2009 Assistant Research Scientist New York University, Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics

Current Research

Galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, are collections of tens to hundreds of billions of stars, separated by vast intergalactic distances.  Using the world's largest telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, my research aims to improve our understanding of how galaxies formed and have evolved (changed) over the 14 billion-year history of the Universe.  By measuring the physical properties of galaxies through cosmic time, such as the rate at which they are forming new stars, my work aims to determine the physical processes driving galaxy evolution.



Articles & Book Reviews

  • A Census of Star-Forming Galaxies in the z~9-10 Universe based on HST+Spitzer Observations Over 19 CLASH clusters: Three Candidate z~9-10 Galaxies and Improved Constraints on the Star Formation Rate Density at z~9
    Astronomical Journal
    2014
  • A Geometrically Supported z~10 Candidate Multiply Imaged by the Hubble Frontier Fields Cluster A2744
    Astrophysical Journal Letters
    2014
  • A UV to Mid-IR Study of AGN Selection
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • An Atlas of Galaxy Spectral Energy Distributions from the Ultraviolet to the Mid-Infrared
    Astrophysical Journal Supplements, vol. 212
    2014
  • CLASH-X: A Comparison of Lensing and X-ray Techniques for Measuring the Mass Profiles of Galaxy Clusters
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • CLASH: A Census of Magnified Star-Forming Galaxies at z ~ 6-8
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • CLASH: Extending galaxy strong lensing to small physical scales with distant sources highly-magnified by galaxy cluster members
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • CLASH: Photometric redshifts with 16 HST bands in galaxy cluster fields
    Astronomy & Astrophysics
    2014
  • CLASH: Weak-Lensing Shear-and-Magnification Analysis of 20 Galaxy Clusters
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • CLASH: z ~ 6 young galaxy candidate quintuply lensed by the frontier field cluster RXC J2248.7-4431
    MNRAS
    2014
  • Evidence for Ubiquitous, High-EW Nebular Emission in z~7 Galaxies: Towards a Clean Measurement of the Specific Star Formation Rate using a Sample of Bright, Magnified Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • Evidence for Ubiquitous, High-EW Nebular Emission in z~7 Galaxies: Towards a Clean Measurement of the Specific Star Formation Rate using a Sample of Bright, Magnified Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • Intra Cluster Light properties in the CLASH-VLT cluster MACS J1206.2-0847
    Astronomy & Astrophysics
    2014
  • Massive Compact Galaxies with High-Velocity Outflows: Morphological Analysis and Constraints on AGN Activity
    MNRAS
    2014
  • PRIMUS: Galaxy Clustering as a Function of Luminosity and Color at 0.2Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • Stellar feedback as the origin of an extended molecular outflow in a starburst galaxy
    Nature
    2014
  • The Assembly Histories of Quiescent Galaxies Since z=0.7 from Absorption Line Spectroscopy
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • The MUSIC of CLASH: predictions on the concentration-mass relation
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • The evolution of dust-obscured star formation activity in galaxy clusters relative to the field over the last 9 billion years
    MNRAS
    2014
  • Three Gravitationally Lensed Supernovae Behind CLASH Galaxy Clusters
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • Young Galaxy Candidates in the Hubble Frontier Fields. I. Abell 2744
    Astrophysical Journal
    2014
  • A redline starburst: CO(2-1) observations of an Eddington-limited galaxy reveal star formation at its most extreme
    Astrophysical Journal Letters
    2013
  • CLASH: The enhanced lensing efficiency of the highly elongated merging cluster MACS J0416.1-2403
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 762
    2013
  • CLASH: Three Strongly Lensed Images of a Candidate z ~ 11 Galaxy
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 762
    2013
  • Hα Star Formation Rates of z > 1 Galaxy Clusters in the IRAC Shallow Cluster Survey
    Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • LASH: Complete Lensing Analysis of the Largest Cosmic Lens MACS J0717.5+3745 and Surrounding Structures
    Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • PRIMUS: An observationally motivated model to connect the evolution of the AGN and galaxy populations out to z~1
    Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • PRIMUS: Constraints on Star Formation Quenching and Galaxy Merging, and the Evolution of the Stellar Mass Function From z=0-1
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 767
    2013
  • PRIMUS: Infrared and X-ray AGN Selection Techniques at 0.2Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • Progress in Search for High-Redshift Galaxies Magnified by Gravitational Lensing
    Astronomical Notes, vol. 334
    2013
  • Spectroscopy of PSN J00513484+2943149 in UGC 525
    The Astronomer's Telegram
    2013
  • Spitzer Spectroscopy of Infrared-Luminous Galaxies: Diagnostics of AGN and Star Formation and Contribution to Total Infrared Luminosity
    Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • Supernova 2013do in UGC 12137 = Psn J22395067+3812443
    Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
    2013
  • Supernova 2013dq in UGC 525 = Psn J00513484+2943149
    Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
    2013
  • The Contribution of Halos with Different Mass Ratios to the Overall Growth of Cluster-Sized Halos
    Astrophysical Journal
    2013
  • The PRIsm MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS). II. Data Reduction and Redshift Fitting
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 767
    2013
  • A Brightest Cluster Galaxy with an Extremely Large Flat Core
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 756
    2012
  • A magnified young galaxy from about 500 million years after the Big Bang
    Nature, vol. 389
    2012
  • CLASH: Discovery of a Bright z~6.2 Dwarf Galaxy Quadruply Lensed by MACS J0329.6-0211
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 747
    2012
  • CLASH: Mass Distribution in and around MACS J1206.2-0847 from a Full Cluster Lensing Analysis
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 755
    2012
  • CLASH: Precise New Constraints on the Mass Profile of the Galaxy Cluster A2261
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 757
    2012
  • Calibrating the Star Formation Rate at z=1 from Optical Data
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 746
    2012
  • Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble: An Overview
    Astrophysical Journal Supplements, vol. 199
    2012
  • High-Velocity Outflows Without AGN Feedback: Eddington-Limited Star Formation in Compact Massive Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 755
    2012
  • PRIMUS: The Dependence of AGN Accretion on Host Stellar Mass and Color
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 746
    2012
  • Star Cluster Populations in the Outer Disks of Nearby Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 754
    2012
  • The Era of Star Formation in Galaxy Clusters
    Astrophysical Journal
    2012
  • The Galaxy Optical Luminosity Function from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 748
    2012
  • A Search for Young Stars in the S0 Galaxies of a Super-Group at z=0.37
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 740
    2011
  • AEGIS: The Morphologies of Green Galaxies at 0.4Astrophysical Journal, vol. 736
    2011
  • Dust Extinction and Metallicities of Star-Forming Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies at Low Redshift
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 733
    2011
  • Dust-Corrected Star Formation Rates of Galaxies. II. Combinations of Ultraviolet and Infrared Tracers
    Astrophysical Journal
    2011
  • PRIMUS: Enhanced Specific Star Formation Rates in Close Galaxy Pairs
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 728
    2011
  • PRIMUS: Obscured Star Formation on the Red Sequence
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 726
    2011
  • PRIMUS: Obscured Star Formation on the Red Sequence
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 726
    2011
  • Radial Distribution of Stars, Gas and Dust in SINGS Galaxies. III. Modeling the Evolution of the Stellar Component in Galaxy Disks
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 731
    2011
  • The Mid-IR and X-ray Selected QSO Luminosity Function
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 728
    2011
  • The PRIsm MUlti-Object Survey (PRIMUS) I: Survey Overview and Characteristics
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 741
    2011
  • The PRIsm MUlti-Object Survey (PRIMUS) I: Survey Overview and Characteristics
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 741
    2011
  • Optical Spectroscopy and Nebular Oxygen Abundances of the Spitzer/SINGS Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal
    2010
  • Active Galactic Nuclei and the Truncation of Star Formation in K+A Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 703
    2009
  • Physical properties and environments of nearby galaxies
    Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 47
    2009
  • The Origin of the 24µm Excess in Red Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 693
    2009
  • The [O II] λ3727 Luminosity Function at z ~ 1
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 701
    2009
  • The Late Stellar Assembly of Massive Cluster Galaxies Via Major Merging
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 683
    2008
  • The Discovery of 1000 km/s Outflows in Massive Post-starburst Galaxies at z=0.6
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 663
    2007
  • An Integrated Spectrophotometric Survey of Nearby Star-forming Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal
    2006
  • Integrated Nebular Abundances of Disk Galaxies
    Astrophysical Journal
    2006
  • Optical Star Formation Rate Indicators
    Astrophysical Journal
    2006