Extrasolar Planetary Systems - Planetary Dynamics - Planet Formation - Exoplanet Searches - Modeling Stars & Planets - Astrobiology - Astrostatistics - High Performance Computing

About Extrasolar Planets

For centuries, theories of planet formation had been designed to explain the planets orbiting our Sun. Since the 1990's, astronomers have discovered several hundred extrasolar planets orbiting other solar-type stars and thousands of additional planet candidates from NASA's Kepler mission. There are several striking differences between the known extrasolar planets and the planets in our Solar System. Thus, the discovery of extrasolar planets has provided many opportunities for improving our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

My research centers around planet formation, the dynamical evolution of planetary systems, & extrasolar planets. While my research is primarily theoretical & computational, I also emphasize the interface between theory & observation, including techniques for characterizing extrasolar planets, the statistical analysis of extrasolar planet observations, and the efficient design of extrasolar planet searches. I collaborate with leading planet search programs, such as NASA's Kepler mission and the California Planet Survey. Ultimately, my research aims to improve our understanding of planet formation & evolution, both in our Solar System and in general.