I am an Assistant Professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory/Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, and an Affiliate Research Scientist at BMSIS. I am a planetary photochemist, interested in using the interaction of molecular systems with energetic radiation as a lens to study life as a planetary phenomenon.

My research focuses on applying photochemistry to questions related to the origin of life on Earth and the search for life on other worlds. These questions are coupled: efforts to understand the origin of life on Earth helps guide our search for it elsewhere in the cosmos, while observations of other planets help us test our theories of the prebiotic environment and of abiogenesis. To understand abiogenesis, I work to constraining the palette of environmental conditions from which life arose on Earth, to constrain and guide experimental studies of the origin of life. To search for life elsewhere, I work to determine observational tests by which life on other worlds may be remotely discriminated. In collaboration with my experimental colleagues, I work to obtain the critical measurements of fundamental photochemical parameters required to build robust models in support of both goals.

In addition to research, I value outreach and education. I am a co-founder of the science communication workshop ComSciCon, an author emeritus for the science outreach blog Astrobites, and a research mentor for undergraduate students. I also give public talks, write popular science articles, and assist with community science outreach programs.

Note for prospective postdocs: LPL has an excellent postdoctoral program, and I am happy to support applications for postdoctoral prize fellowships like the Heising-Simons 51 Peg, NASA Hubble, and NSF AAPF/ESPF. Relevant topics for my group include but are not limited to exoplanet atmospheres, early Earth, and astrobiology, interpreted very broadly. If you are interested in applying for a fellowship, please get in touch! I am happy to help you craft your application.