Assistant Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute
Research Expertise: debris disks, disk-planet interactions
VPL Focus: Task E: The ObserverHomepage: http://www.starkspace.com/
I’m an associate scientist at the Space Telescope Scientist Institute in Baltimore, MD. I estimate the science yields of future telescopes and study the dynamics, composition, and optical properties of debris disks and their interactions with extrasolar planets.
I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. metro area since 2004, when I moved from Iowa to pursue a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Maryland. While a graduate student at Maryland, I worked with Marc Kuchner as a NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellow at the neighboring NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, modeling and observing debris disks and their interactions with exoplanets. After completing my Ph.D., I worked worked with Alycia Weinberger at Carnegie DTM as a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow. I then returned to NASA GSFC to work with Aki Roberge as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, where I began modeling science yields for future telescopes.
When I’m not researching, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Angela, and my children, Mason and Charlotte. I am also addicted to construction projects of any sort, ranging from speaker building and amateur electronics to deck construction and home renovations. When I find the time to relax a little, I like to go canoeing and catch up on episodes of the Colbert Report.