I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics at Northwestern University. I study AGN and their host galaxies, the Galactic center and Sgr A*, accreting compact objects, and accretion-driven outﬂows using multi-wavelength and time domain surveys. Check out these news items on my research: How Often do Giant Black Holes Become Hyperactive? (Chandra Press Room) and The Giant Awakes (New Scientist). There are many more details on my Research page.
I'm particularly excited to be working on events unfolding in our Galactic center, where we expect to observe the collision between a three earth-mass cloud "G2" and our local supermassive black hole, Sgr A* (Gillessen et al. 2012). My X-ray and radio studies of this encounter are supported by the award of two Chandra Large Observing Programs in Cycle 14 (300 ks, joint with 42 hours on JVLA and 30 ks from XMM Newton) and Cycle 15 (420 ks, joint with 36 hours on JVLA). Our Cycle 9 Swift proposal to monitor the encounter was also approved. If you are curious about Sgr A*/G2 and the latest goings on in the Galactic center, don't miss the HEAD Special Session, ''News from the Galactic Center: A Multiwavelength Update on the Sgr A*/G2 Encounter'', I am organizing at the upcoming 223rd AAS Meeting in Washington, DC (Monday, 6 January 2014, 10:00am-11:30am).
As of January 2013, I've become an Elected Member of the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) Executive Committee, and in 2012, I became an Editor for the AASWOMEN Newsletter. Wearing these hats, I participated in my first visit to Capitol Hill this spring to advocate for STEM. During the summer months in 2012 and 2013, I helped organize two fantastic Stargazing and Sky Stories events with the Aspen Science Center and the Aspen Center for Physics (which led to my first TV interview (!) on Aspen's GrassRoots Community TV).
As a CIERA fellow, I direct my own projects and work with a great group of student researchers, including Kenza Arraki, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at NMSU, several NASA Space Grant summer students, and two exceptional high schoolers from Evanston Township High School.
I also work with Northwestern's NSF GK-12 program, Reach for the Stars, which brings computational thinking to middle and high school STEM classrooms in Evanston and Chicago. Before arriving at NU, I was instrumental in establishing the Pre-Major in Astronomy Program (Pre-MAP) at the University of Washington. Learn more about my education and outreach programs on my Teaching page.
Here is my CV.