I am a radio astronomer working on the Breakthrough Listen project with Berkeley SETI Research Center. I am the Project Scientist for Breakthrough Listen on the Green Bank Telescope. In addition to working on the Breakthrough Listen science program and our observational strategy, I direct our undergraduate internship program. I also manage the outreach and education efforts for BSRC, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
My other interests include wide-field radio surveys with next generation radio telescopes, searching for transient and variable radio sources as well as the signatures of supermassive black hole binaries and mergers. I am an associate member of the Murchison Widefield Array and NANOGrav collaborations, and an advisor to the Square Kilometer Array Transient Science Working group. I’m also interested in how supermassive black holes interact with their environments, including through spectacular examples of feedback such as Minkowski’s Object.
I helped conceive and implement the NOVAS high school program combining art and the maker movement with astronomy education. In 2009 I founded, and ran for 10 years, the Science@Cal Lecture Series, a series of free lectures that welcomes 100 – 150 members of the public to campus each month to hear about research taking place at UC Berkeley. I now serve as a member of the Science@Cal Advisory Council. I have written material for the UC Museum of Paleontology’s Understanding Evolution website, and for the Big History Project.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking, photography, hiking, camping, and travel. I live in Oakland with my wife Lori, an attorney, and our husky Laika.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in astrophysics from University College, London, and a DPhil (PhD) from the Subdepartment of Astrophysics at Oxford University, under the supervision of Steve Rawlings. After postdoctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with Wil van Breugel and Bob Becker, I moved to Berkeley in 2007 to work with Geoff Bower. I currently work as a researcher on the Breakthrough Listen project.