I am presently an Astronomy PhD candidate at The Ohio State University (OSU). I work with Professor Scott Gaudi on the detection and characterization of transiting exoplanets. My research goals include constraining the composition of small, terrestrial exoplanets by combining precise radii, masses, and host star chemical abundances.
Using data from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), I led the discovery of two ultra short-period hot Jupiters, KELT-25b and KELT-26b.
Previously, I worked with Professor Laura Lopez studying the variability and flare rates of M-dwarf stars using data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). During that time, in collaboration with the ASAS-SN team, I also led the discovery of a powerful flare on a previously undiscovered M dwarf.
I obtained a bachelors and master's degree in Physics at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. For my master's thesis, I worked under the supervision of Professor Sarah Ballard on the characterization of M-dwarf exoplanet hosts using near-infrared spectroscopy. I enjoy science outreach and mentoring and have mentored OSU undergraduates and high school students.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing piano, painting, and learning languages.
For more details about my interests and contributions, read my CV .
I broadly study exoplanets, which are planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, to try to understand their individual properties, structure, and composition. Currently at OSU, I work with Professor Scott Gaudi on precisely characterizing small, terrestrial exoplanets (Earth-sized or Super Earths) in order to understand their structure, composition, and formation.
I have also worked on a variety of projects (see below for a brief overview of each).
See my publications through ADS here.
Hot Jupiters Around Hot Stars
Last year, I worked on the characterization of two ‘hot Jupiters’ (Jupiter-sized planets in short-period orbits), discovered by the KELT collaboration and observed by TESS. KELT-25b and KELT-26b are both very close to their A-type parent stars, resulting in extremely high equilibrium temperatures and inflated atmospheres. These objects represent good opportunities for follow-up atmospheric characterization.
For more details about this work, please read the publication here.
M dwarf stars are the coolest (temperature-wise) and the most common type of star, comprising about 75% of all stars in the Milky Way. These stars are very magnetically active compared to hotter stars, and they exhibit star spots, coronal mass ejections, and stellar flares that are detectable across all wavelengths.
Flares are powerful bursts of energy that result from magnetic lines reconnecting in the surface of stars. These events not only complicate the search for exoplanets around M dwarfs, but also have important implications for the emergence and evolution of life on such planets. Studies have shown that persistent
and energetic flares can have adverse effects on the atmospheres of planets around M dwarfs. Under the guidance of Professor Laura Lopez, we studied ~90% of the known M dwarfs in the northern hemisphere with the ASAS-SN survey, finding that the later-type M dwarfs are generally more active than the earlier (hotter) stars. Read more about our work
M-dwarf Planet Hosts from K2
As a student at the University of Puerto Rico, under the mentorship of Professor Sarah Ballard, I characterized a sample of M dwarfs with confirmed exoplanets from the K2/Kepler mission. We determined the physical properties of these stars by employing empirical relationships between the equivalent width of certain spectral features in the near-infrared and their radii, temperatures and luminosities. From the derived properties of the stars, we determined the radii and equilibrium temperatures of the planets transiting them. For more details, read the publication here.
Address: 4055 McPherson Lab, 140 W 18th Ave Columbus, OH 43210