Brief bio

People often laugh when I tell them the reason I got into astrophysics is Star Wars, but for the most part it's true. After seeing the original Star Wars movies as a kid, I fell in love with anything to do with outer space. For a long time, I was convinced I was going to become an astronaut, but eventually my interest shifted to exploring space in a different way — through science.

I grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and later moved to the U.S. for my post-secondary education. I received a Bachelor's in physics from Eastern Oregon University (located in the dry, unfashionable part of the state), and worked for two summers at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. I received a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and have been a research scientist at UT ever since.