Research - Every star has a story.



Evolution of Cepheids
I am interested in the inner workings of classical Cepheids as key tools for stellar astrophysics and cosmology as standard candles. They are also powerful labs for stellar physics: rotation, mass loss, magnetic field, binarity. I model their evolution and compare with period change observations to test various physical theories.

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Cepheids dynamic atmospheres
Just like their evolution is important, we also want to understand how pulsation impacts their atmospheres and the radiation we see from them. Cepheids are not static stars and they show unexpected stuff like excess light at ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths. I am developing new, hydrodynamic model stellar atmospheres to study dynamic atmospheres and Cepheids that can also be applied to understanding how Cepheid standard candles change with different composition.


Massive Star Evolution
The more massive the star, the more sensitive they are to different phenomena such as rotation, winds, magnetic fields, etc. I am interested in studying how the different physical processes affects our understanding of these stars and how well we can compare to observations.


Atmospheres of Red Giant/Supergiant Stars
Red giant and red supergiant stars live near the end stages of stellar lives. In this regime, the stars are becoming tenuous and can barely hold on to material. At this precarious stage, the physics of convection and mass loss becomes important. I build model stellar atmospheres to understand some of this physics and to measure the properties of these stars to high precision.


Properties of planet-hosting stars
The discovery of exoplanets have changed our view of the Universe and our place in it. One method for discovering these planets is the transit method, in which the amount of light from a star dips slightly when the planet passes in front of it. This technique allows us to measure the radius of exoplanets, but it does require astronomers to understand the host star. I use model stellar atmospheres to model host stars and planet transits to provide detailed measurements of the star. To know the planet, we must know the star first.


Stellar Mergers and binary evolution
Very few stars are born or evolve in isolation. Many have companions and many of these systems interact. When they interact and merge then we are left with strange evolution paths and different physics. Some mergers can rejuvenate stars, others can lead to supernova explosions. I compute models to study these interaction and to understand binary paths of stellar evolution.