About Me

I am an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL). I work with EPL staff scientists John Chambers and Scott Sheppard as a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow. I recently finished my Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University of Oklahoma, where I worked with professor Nate Kaib. In the fall of 2018 I lived in Bordeaux, France, and worked with CNRS scientist Sean Raymond at the University of Bordeaux. Before arriving starting graduate school, I spent 5 years on active duty in the Navy, where I was stationed on the nuclear powered fast attack submarine USS TOPEKA (SSN-754). I first served as the ship's Chemistry and Radiological Controls Officer, and later as the Assistant Engineer. I was also a qualified Navy Scuba Diver and served as the ship's Diving Division Officer.

In 2015 I transferred to the active reserves and started graduate school at OU. My research interests include the formation and dynamical evolution of the solar system, and that of other similar systems of planets elsewhere in the galaxy that might harbor life. In particular, I utilize numerical, N-body computer simulations to study the early evolution of the solar system. The codes I use and modify are publicly available integrators including MERCURY, SWIFT, REBOUND and GENGA that are specifically designed to study planetary dynamics. I run large suites of simulations on various supercomputers including the Texas Advanced Computing Center's (TACC) 23.3 PFLOP Frontera Supercomputer (the fifth fastest computer in the world) , the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center's (PSC) 1.3 PFLOP BRIDGES-2 cluster, the Open Science Grid, and on Carnegie's own Memex HPC cluster.

In particular, my work focuses on the formation and long-term dynamical stability of the four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars). Understanding the evolution of the young solar system provides us with insight in to the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the Universe. During my first few years of graduate school, I explored the consequences that a dynamical instability between the giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) would have on the forming terrestrial planets. Recently, I have been using graphs processing units (GPUs; which greatly speed up simulations by performing calculations in parallel) to continue these investigations and explore new frontiers.

Outside of school and the Navy my hobbies include playing guitar, weight training and swimming. My wife Carolyn and I got married in 2016. I am also a lifelong fan of the LA Dodgers, Lakers and Oklahoma Sooners.

Navy Dive School: Panama City, FL

USS TOPEKA at the North Pole:

A Calcium Aluminum-Rich inclusion: the oldest material in the Solar System: