Research Group

Opportunities: I am always looking for bright and motivated students from all backgrounds.

Our research enterprise spans a wide variety of topics. Our goal is to understand how planets form, evolve and have the properties they exhibit.

Nathan Winsor, PhD candidate.
Thesis topic: Habitability of MDwarf Stars

Jen Scora, PhD candidate.
Thesis topic: Compositional Outcome of Rocky Planet Formation

Mass-radius diagram showing the observed planets color coded with respect to insolation, compared to the planets that are produced via giant impact collisions (purple) with an N-body treatment including inelastic collisions. Take away message: Giant impact collisions increase the chemical diversity of planets but not enough to explain the rocky super-Earth data.

Bo Peng, PhD candidate.
Thesis Topic: Volatile Acquisition of Rocky Planetary Bodies

Thermo-chemical evolution of planetesimals including sintering and outgassing of carbon due to pressure gradients.

Mykhaylo Plotnykov, PhD student.
Thesis Topic: Statistical Inferences of the Interior Structure and Composition of Exoplanets

Mass-radius diagram that shows the observed planets with good measurements (errors in mass and radius better than 25%) color coded according to equilibrium temperature. Mass-radius relationships show how a pure iron, mercury-like, earth-like and pure rocky composition tie both mass and radius. Any planet above the Rocky Threshold Radius (RTR) necessarily have to have volatiles. The purple region shows the refractory composition of stars translated to a core-mass fraction showing the type of composition a planet would have if it had the same composition as the star (primordial composition). The outlet shows the composition of stars (purple) compared to that of the planets in the terrestrial region showing the planets hav ea wider distribution compared to that of stars.