Rachel is an astrophysics graduate student at Penn State, conducting research in the areas of planetary formation and astrobiology through dynamics and n-body simulations. She is interested in lithopanspermia, the transfer of life through the Solar System on bits of rock ejected by large meteor impacts. She is currently investigating how the gravitational environment of multistellar systems influences the formation of planets around their stars. See the "Research" tab for more information on these projects.
Rachel's undergraduate research was on the evolution of dwarf galaxies, analyzing H I images of the nearby dwarf galaxies Sextans A and B. She received a B.S. in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin, majoring in Physics, Astronomy-Physics, and Music Performance.