About Me

I am a third year graduate student at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii working with Brent Tully. I am primarily interested in nearby galaxies, the distance ladder, and large-scale structure.

I recieved my A.B. in Astronomy and Physics at Vassar College, where I worked under Professor Fred Chromey on both observational and theoretical studies of contact binary systems. I also spent a summer working under Professor Elizabeth McGrath at Colby College, where I studied the evolution of massive quiescent galaxies using CANDELS. I then attended Boston University, where I obtained my M.A. and studied optical, infrared, and x-ray emission from clusters of galaxies.

Research Interests

I have a variety of research interests, including:

  • Star Formation in Nearby Galaxies
  • The Distance Ladder
  • Galaxy Evolution
  • Large-Scale Structure


A few highlights from my recent work:

The Distance and Motion of the Maffei Group

It was previously thought that the Maffei Group and IC 342 Group were nearby in distance, such that they formed a larger group. Here we derive a new (further) distance to the Maffei Group, which separates it from the members of the IC 342 group. Both of these groups have negative peculiar velocities towards us, which is a result of void expansion from the direction of Perseus-Pisces.

A Robust Tip of the Red Giant Branch Distance to the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946)

In this paper, we derive a tip of the red giant branch distance of 7.72 Mpc to NGC 6946. This distance is significantly larger than most previous literature distances, which has important implications for the 10 supernovae that have occured in it. We also find that NGC 6946 lies nicely along the M101 Wall, a filament that extends into the Local Void.

The Distance to the Galaxy Coma P

Here we discuss the literature distance to the "almost-dark" dwarf galaxy Coma P. We suggest that the asymptomtic giant branch has been mistaken for the red giant branch, which would push the galaxy out to 11 Mpc. At this distance, it is within the infall region of the Virgo Cluster.

Published Work

ADS Link