Who Am I

I am an associate professor at Elon University with research interests in plasma simulations, nebular astrophysics, computational astrophysics, and physics / astronomy education. I earned my PhD in Astrophysics from Michigan State University and graduated from Eastern Illinois University Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Physics and Applied Physics.

Research Opportunities

My general area of interest concerns the microphysics of emission line regions using numerical simulations. Running highly detailed computations on off-site supercomputers allows our group to analyze the results of simulations in a fraction of the time that would be required on traditional desktop / laptop computers. Specifically, my main interests pertain to metal-poor starburst galaxies, IMBHs in dwarf AGN, galaxy chemical evolution, and H2 in extreme environments. Explore the topics below to see specific research opportunities in each of these areas.

The output from the model grids used in our simulations can be accessed here. Additional output or model grids are available upon request.

Starbust Galaxies

Starburst galaxies are forming new stars at an anomalously high rate. In the spiral galaxy above, one idea is that a recent collision with another galaxy has caused new stars to form in the spiral arms, which gives the arms their bright blue appearance.

Learn more about these galaxies

Active Galactic Nuclei

Active Galactic Nuclei are galaxies with supermassive black holes at their centers that have "turned on." They spew radiation throughout a galaxy that can interupt star formation and cause a galaxy to change its appearance.

Learn more about AGN

Supernova Remnants

Despite detailed observations covering all wavelengths, many problems with nearby, young supernova remnants remain scandalously unsolved. One such problem involves survival of the complex atoms and molecules needed for life in the harsh environment of an exploded star.

Learn more exploded stars

Our Research Team

Our research team consists of a larger number of undergraduate students and two Elon faculty members. Students can start working on projects as early as their first year at Elon, fully engage in every step of the scientific process, and learn skills that will serve them well in their careers or graduate school.

Learn more about Elon astrophysics

Elon Society of Physics Students

Elon University's Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been awarded the outstanding chapter designation by SPS National for several years in a row. Elon SPS consists of both physics and non-physics members that hold weekly meetings to conduct fun experiments over pizza, invite scientists to present their work, and host university wide "geek" trivia at a local coffee shop.

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