Graduate Student, Astronomy
University of Washington
Research Expertise: exoplanet habitable zone; climate models
VPL Focus: Task C: The Habitable Planet, Task E: The Observer
Andrew is a graduate student pursuing a dual-title Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrobiology working with Professor Meadows on exoplanet atmospheres. Currently he is working on modeling the effect of atmospheric composition on the outer edge of the habitability zone through development of the new VPL 1D climate model (intially developed by Dr. David Crisp and Dr. Tyler Robinson).
During summer of 2015, Andrew measured the pure rotational spectra of the rare stable isotopologues of Titanium Monoxide (TiO) at the University of Arizona using the Ziurys group direct absorption millimeter wave spectrometer and their Fourier Transform microwave spectrometer. This required melting or laser ablation of high purity titanium with the presence of oxygen to form vapor-phase TiO. This is relevant for astrophysics because TiO is a potential nucleation particle for the formation of interplanetary dust and is potentially a measure of the nucleosynthetic processes in the late-stage evolution of massive stars.
During summer of 2014, Andrew worked with Dr. Aki Roberge at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center on the Haystacks project for simulating exoplanet observations by working on the code for generating a high-resolution spectral image model of the Solar System. High-fidelity planetary system spectra, including the star, the planets, and the effects of dust, are important in understanding the requirements for future observing missions under development.