My current and previous research projects

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Here I carry out independent research on galaxies far away from our own Milky Way. My mentors are Sangeeta Malhotra and Rogier Windhorst. See the Contact tab for my contact info in case you have any questions. My main research project here at ASU is SÍGAME - a module designed to model nebular line emission in the far-infrared from galaxies and make predictions for future observations (click below to keep reading):


I also quantified the presence of AGN in massive galaxies at z~2 using CHANDRA archival data: Measuring the AGN fraction among star-forming and quiescent galaxies at z~2 (ApJ 764 4, 2013)

HTML5 Icon Illustration of the accretion disk and outflowing jets surrounding a black hole (Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center).

Research interests

Keywords: Evolution of galaxies; Epoch of re-ionization; Interstellar Medium, Emission lines in radio; Radio interferometry; Galaxy simulations
My research focuses on the Interstellar Medium (ISM) of galaxies, i.e. that gas out of which stars are formed. The amount and properties of the ISM play a crucial role for the evolution of a galaxy, yet for galaxies at high redshifts both are poorly determined by observations. By observing a portion of ISM in different wavelengths, different images emerge, and astronomers can extract important information from each:

The best technique for observing the ISM is to look for emission lines in the infrared (left bottom panel above), where rotational lines of molecules and fine structure lines of atoms and ions are easily excited at typical ISM temperatures and densities.

Bridging the gap

I make theoretical predictions for the observations of such lines by applying subgrid physics to galaxy simulations. The aim of this work is to bridge the gap between observations and models, in order to aid future interpretation of observations at high redshifts. For that purpose, I created a method called SÍGAME during my PhD which I am now developing further and translating to Python (from IDL). At some point I hope to make the code public on GitHub, so stay tuned! You can get a better introduction to my theoretical work by taking a look at the first chapter of my thesis, available here.
Approaching that bridge from the other end, I am also interested in observing normal star-forming galaxies at redshift z=2 and above. For that purpose, I am involved in the HELLO project (PI: S. Malhotra) and writing proposals for NOEMA, JVLA and ALMA.

Organizer of Python Programming meetings: I organize group meetings for scientists using python in their research at the School of Earth and Space Exploration, part of Arizona State University. The group meets up every second week and we have a github repository to share knowledge and ask questions. We decide a topic for each meeting based on what people are having most struggles! Typically, the meetings start with a short presentation by someone who has experience in the topic followed by discussion and hands-on learning. The group includes undergrads to professors, and is not restricted to SESE members, so if you would like to join the mailing list or be part of the github repository, just shoot me an email. Check out our group page and github repository by clicking the image below:

Prickly Pythons

Co-organizer of P^3 = Postdoc Posters and Pie Research Forum at SESE, ASU: I help organizing an annual poster conference at SESE, ASU, for postdocs and others to see some of the amazing science that goes on at SESE! Below is a photo taken from a balcony above the scene:

Talks and Meetings

Below are previous talks that I gave, and meetings I attended or plan to attend. If you want the keynote/powerpoint version of any presentation (given in PDF here) please contact me!

08-15-17: Webinar in the FIR SIG group
- I gave a webinar to the Far-Infrared Science Interest Group (FIR SIG) and you can watch it here.

06-29-17: Colloquium at IRyA, UNAM, Morelia, Mexico
- While visiting the "Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica", I gave a 50min talk on results with SÍGAME modeling [CII] emission at redshift 6, now forming a paper submitted to ApJ. View and download a PDF version of the talk here

04-28-17: Cosmology Seminar (aka Pizza Talk), Tempe, Arizona
- I gave a 45min talk at my institute (SESE, ASU) on results with SÍGAME for modeling [CII] emission at redshift 6, now forming a paper close to submission. View and download a PDF version of the talk here

01-14-17 to 01-18-17: Dawn of Galaxies 2017 meeting, Obergurgl, Austria
- I'm attending a meeting on galaxy evolution during the Epoch of Reionization. See a program here

11-14-16 to 11-18-16: Visitor at NMSU, Las Cruces, NM
- I came to collaborate with Kristian Finlator primarily, and gave a colloquium on Friday Nov 18 on early results with SÍGAME for modeling [CII] emission at redshift 6. View and download a PDF version of the talk here

06-12-16: American Astronomical Society 228th meeting, San Diego, CA
- Attending with poster

05-10-16: Participating in SOFIA workshop, Tucson, AZ
- A hands-on workshop on what you can do with (and how to write proposals for) The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) which is an amazing airborne observatory.

04-22-16: Gave an interview for ASU connections
- On my work and daily life as a postdoc at SESE! I had a great time talking to the host, Kevin Conklin and you can listen to the podcast here:

04-04-16: Molecular GAs in Galactic Environments, Charlottesville, VA
- Attending and gave a talk on 06/04 - see program here.
And download the keynote presentation of my talk from the Open Science Framework:

12-02-15: Talk at NRAO, Socorro, NM
- Simulating [CII] emission: Results for z=2 main sequence galaxies
View and download a PDF version of the talk here

11-10-15: Practice Talk Session at SESE, ASU in Tempe, AZ
- First session: Key aspects of a good talk (prepared and presented in collaboration with Julia Cartwright from SESE.)
View and download a PDF version of the talk here

09-18-15: Cosmology Seminar at SESE, ASU in Tempe, AZ
- ISM: Modeling and observing
View and download a PDF version of the talk here

11-07-15: KISS meeting, Pasadena, CA
- Bridging the Gap: Observations and Theory of Star Formation Meet on Large and Small Scales: A one week conference/workshop at the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS) to establish the goals that will enable progress in this field of astronomy.
Read the final report that I contributed to