I'm an astronomer jointly appointed at Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and the Adler Planetarium. The focus of my research is the study of gravitational dynamics, and particularly how dynamical encounters between stars influence the evolution of multiple-star systems, planetary systems, and star clusters. My tools combine detailed multi-wavelength observations (primarily optical stellar spectroscopy) with sophisticated numerical simulations. This dialogue between observations and simulations is driving a rich array of exciting and innovative research projects. I provide detailed descriptions on my Research Page, including many potential projects for students. If you have questions or are interested in joining our research team (especially students), please contact me at the information given below.
I am passionate about sharing our research and the many new discoveries throughout astronomy with my students and the public. Astronomy comprises some of the most fundamental and deepest questions we have: Are there other planets like Earth in the Universe capable of supporting life like ours? Where did the building blocks of life come from? How old is our Universe? As astronomers, it is our job to translate our results, presented in technical and detailed papers, into compelling and meaningful information that is accessible to everyone. I strive to do this both within my classroom and in public lectures, discussions and star parties. You can find upcoming events on my Outreach Page.
I am also the director of our CIERA REU program. The projects are all inderdisciplinary, and centered in astronomy. Our 2015 cohort had an amazing summer, and we're looking forward to 2016!
Note: I am in the process of updating my website. So check back often to see the new additions!