My research focuses on near-infrared instrumentation and exoplanet science. Currently, I am working on a project to search for exomoons around exoplanets by combining two planet detection techniques: high-contrast imaging and the radial velocity method. We use high contrast imaging to block out the light from the central star to reveal the planet. Then, we use a high resolution spectrograph to perform spectroscopy on the planet directly, looking for variations in the radial velocity time series of the planet that may correspond to a moon tugging on the planet with its gravity.
Space inspires me because it is a giant laboratory that can be used to study physical sciences on almost unimaginably large scales.
I would travel to Jupiter to see the planet and its four Galilean moons.
When I am not conducting research, you can find me hiking, skiing, or in a boba shop!
One book series I wish I could read for the first time again is the Parable Series by Octavia E. Butler. This series imagines a dystopian world much like 1984 by George Orwell, but also includes space exploration and the colonization of planets outside our solar system as a central plot point.
Katelyn posing with an optical spectrograph she built.