My research focuses on gas in galaxies. Everyone knows about the stars in galaxies because they're strikingly easy to see but the gas can be equal in mass for spiral galaxies and is the most crucial component to galaxy growth. Every simulation of galaxy formation to date has shown large amounts of gas surrounding galaxies but because the densities are so low, the gas is hard to observe. My work centers on using hydronamics simulations to connect our theories of galaxy formation to observations we can make now and in the future.
Explore some of the data yourself with this Jupyter Notebook and this data !
For Astronomers: I use the adaptive mesh refinement, hydrodynamics code enzo to study the CGM of Milky Way-like galaxies at low redshift. My thesis focused on making predictions for the emission from the CGM and it's detection probabilities for upcoming instrumentation such as FIREBALL and LUVOIR.
As a Postdoc at JHU, I am exploring the effects of small scale physics on the CGM. Our group has developed a novel method for adding refinement in the CGM, resolving the outer halo of a Milky Way-like galaxy with a resolution of 250 pc, compared to the 1-5 kpc typical of cosmological simualtions. I am also running simulations of idealized clouds in pressure equilibrium with a CGM-like diffuse, ambient medium, reaching a resolution of 1 pc. With these small, idealized simulations, I can trace the stripping and mixing of small overdensities in the CGM. These simulations are all connected directly to observations by generating realistic, mock, absorption line profiles. Such studies will improve future interpretations of such data and the mock spectra will be released as part of MAST.