Research Group

Postdoctoral Researchers, Graduate Students, & Undergraduates

Marta Bryan

51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow

Marta uses cutting-edge observational techniques to investigate the formation and evolution of planetary systems. She is particularly interested in the formation of gas giants.

Recent Papers: Bryan et al. 2019, Bryan et al. 2018

Jordan Fleming

Graduate Student

Jordan is currently using follow-up observations obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope to determine the veracity of a planet candidate detected by the NASA K2 Mission and improve the orbital ephemerides. His next project will be investigating the frequency of ultra-short period planets.

Steven Giacalone

Graduate Student

Steven is developing a computational framework for assessing the likelihood that TESS Objects of Interest are bona fide planets rather than astrophysical false positives. He is also one of the lead observers for our adaptive optics imaging, near-infrared specroscopy, and radial velocity observations of planet candidate host stars.

Recent Papers: Giacalone et al. 2019

Andrew (Andy) Mayo

Graduate Student

Andy obtains and analyzes radial velocity observations to determine the masses and bulk compositions of transiting planets. He recently measured the mass of the long period planet Kepler-538b and is now characterizing an ultra-short period planet detected by the NASA K2 Mission.

Recent Papers: Mayo et al. 2019

Ellianna (Ellie) Schwab Abrahams

Graduate Student

Ellie is primarily interested in stellar astrophysics. She combines data from Gaia DR2 with data from transit surveys to characterize planet host stars and determine stellar rotation periods. Ellie also works with Professor Josh Bloom to study CV stars.

Charles Fortenbach

Recent Master's Student

For his master's thesis at San Francisco State University, Charles developed a computational framework to assist with target selection for studies of planetary atmospheres with the James Webb Space Telescope. His JET package reads a list of planet candidates and generates a prioritized target list.

Charles defended his thesis in December 2018 and is now converting his thesis into a journal article that will soon be submitted to PASP.

Arjun Savel

Senior Undergraduate

Arjun is obtaining and analyzing adaptive optics of stars targeted by transit surveys in order to identify nearby stellar companions and assess whether detected companions are physically associated with the target star. For planet candidate host stars, these observations can reveal astrophysical false positive masquerading as transiting planets and refine the properties of planet candidates. Assessing the multiplicity of stars without detected planets is also important because the completeness of transit surveys will be overestimated if the sample contains unidentified stellar binaries. Arjun is currently finishing paper exploring the multiplicity of Kepler target stars that would have been amenable to the detection of potentially Earth-like planets.

Eliot Cantor

Senior Undergraduate

Eliot is conducting a performance comparison of various light curve detrending and planet detection pipelines.

Shashank Dholakia

Junior Undergraduate

Shashank is analyzing observations of stars observed in multiple K2 campaigns to identify long-period planets.

Recent Papers: Dholakia et al. 2019

Shishir Dholakia

Junior Undergraduate

Shishir is analyzing observations of stars observed in multiple K2 campaigns to identify long-period planets.

Recent Papers: Dholakia et al. 2019

Lauren Koch

Senior Undergraduate

Lauren is analyzing photometry from the NASA TESS mission to identify transiting planets and determine their properties. Over the summer, she worked on the James Webb Space Telescope.