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The first stars formed from gas deficient in heavy elements, which are key to star formation today, and this lack of heavy elements theoretically forced the first stars to exceptionally high masses. Though we cannot see these stars, we can study similar conditions in todays universe using nearby dwarf galaxies. Also deficient in heavy-elements, their stellar populations provide the best analogs to early star formation, and by studying variations in their stellar populations, we may deduce what the first stars looked like and how they formed.
Another key aspect of my research focuses on science accessibility and currently involves accessible astronomy for those who are visually impaired. We aim to promote an inclusive environment where visually impaired and sighted students receive the same, improved education with the same resources. The study compares different tactile learning methods to determine the most effective non-visual resources for classroom and public outreach education.
ASU/NASA Space Grant (2017-2018)
Director - Earth & Space Open House Committee