TESS TOI Planet Follow-up      

We are using EPRV measurements to confirm  and get planet mass estimates of TESS TOIs which include young stars and M-dwarfs with mini-neptune planets using the IRTF/iSHELL and WIYN/NEID instruments. This is in collaboration with Dr. Peter Plavchan and his students at GMU. The young star program is part of Claire Geneser's PhD thesis.   

The Starchive

The Starchive is an open source, open-access stellar database with an intuituve web application. Users will be able to upload their own meta-data and also makes use of an API. All plots are dynamic and exportable. At the moment the samples include all stars and WDs within 30pc, all brown dwarfs, and stars with planets and/or disks. 


We are collaborating with Dr. Tabetha Boyajian and others at LSU and Jon Morse of AstronetX on a telescope called LCAM to be placed on an upcoming lunar lander. The telescope and UV sensitive detector will collect transmission spectra of a sample of bright transiting Jupiter-sized planets to constrain their atmospheric properties. 


We are working with Dr. Peter Plavchan and astronomers at Goddard, NIST and Caltech on a space platform containing a suite of calibrated optical and infrared lasers and an integration sphere which will be observed by ground-based telescopes to allow for a ten fold improvement in absolute flux calibrations. These improvements will impact exoplanet, stellar astronomy and cosmology.

Teaching and Mentorship

I refuse to let my teaching and mentoring techniques go stagnant as the students and teaching methods are constantly changing along with our knowledge of the Universe. I have had the privledge of mentoring some amazing MSU students and faculty.      

Current Students

  • Claire G‚Äčeneser, Graduate student (PhD, 2024)
  • Kathrine Parker, Undergrad Biology Major
  • Rebekah Brown, Undergrad Engineering Majo
  • Joshua Collins, Undergrad Math and Physics Major

Educational Projects

  • Astronomy Education Google Drive
  • Dept Teaching Materials Drive
  • On-line Astronomy Labs
  • VR Planetarium

Previous Students

  • Farzanah Zohrabi, Masters 2020, LSU PhD student
  • Amy Ray, Masters 2015, TCU PhD student
  • Chris Ramos, Masters 2012
  • Randy Niffeneger, BS 2019, MBA Perdue
  • Cameron Clark, BS 2017, PhD SUNY

Classes Taught

  • PH 1063: Descriptive Astronomy
  • PH 1031: First Year Experience X-Files: A Critical Thinking Adventure
  • PH 2213: Physics I (calculus-based)
  • PH 3063: Astrophysics
  • PH 4513/6513: Optics


In addition to the typical academic service, I enjoy hosting telescope viewing events for the local community, giving public astronomy talks, and working on efforts to make astronomy and physics a more diverse and equitble community for future generations. We still have a long way to go. 


  • 2022-present NASA SAG 23 member
  • 2022-present NOIRLab Data Science Advisory Group
  • 2020-2021 NASA SAG 22 member
  • Participant in multiple NASA/NSF Grant panels
  • Participant in multiple Telescope Allocation Committees

Education and Outreach

  • 2019-present Skype a Scientist participant
  • 2015-present Monthly Radio Segment on MSU WMSV
  • 2017 co-Organized MSU Solar Eclipse Viewing
  • 2011-present Multiple telescope observing events including Howell at the Moon and May the 4th

Links of Interest

  • Howell Observatory
  • APS IDEA Program
  • AIP TEAM-UP Program


  • 2020-present APS IDEA and AIP Team-Up programs
  • Member MSU P&A Diversity Team
  • Chair, ad Hoc committee to remove Physics Qualfier exam
  • Chair, MSU P&A Climate Survey