Research

 

I am working with my advisor Jonathan Fortney to model clouds in brown dwarf and exoplanet atmospheres.

In 2012, I led a paper showing the effect that salt and sulfide clouds will have on T dwarf spectra and colors. These clouds provide a mechanism to match the red colors of the coolest T dwarfs, which are poorly matched by cloud-free models.

In 2013 I led a paper exploring the flat transmission spectrum of the “super-Earth” GJ 1214b. With an enhanced metallicity atmosphere, either the salt/sulfide clouds or a photochemical “soot” haze can match the observations.

Currently I am studying the coldest brown dwarfs—the new spectral class Y dwarfs—many of which will be cold enough for water clouds to condense in their upper atmospheres. We are including patchy water clouds and making predictions for this newest class of substellar objects, which are the first objects at “room temperature” to be studied and characterized.