About Me

Hello! I am a 4th year PhD candidate at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, where I work with Prof. Erin Kara to study how supermassive black holes grow and affect their surroundings. I graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2019 with undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy, and, prior to coming to MIT, obtained my masters degree in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, where I worked with Prof. Chris Reynolds.

My primary research interests are in the field of nuclear transients, namely trying to understand the rapid accretion state changes in both Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs) and changing-look AGN. I’m particularly excited about these events because they allow us to study extreme accretion phenomena, like the formation of accretion disks, relativistic jets, and the X-ray corona, and learn about supermassive black holes that are usually dormant and hard to study! I’m an observer at heart and work with a variety of observatories to study the evolution of these objects during their outbursts. I started graduate school primarily working at X-ray wavelengths, working with data from telescopes like NICER, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, and Swift. Currently, I’m excited about what we can learn my looking at broadband multi-wavelength data of these fascinating systems and am working on both optical and infrared follow-up of these transients. In addition to nuclear transients, I also have broad interests in high-energy astrophysics and have also worked on high resolution X-ray spectroscopy of nearby AGN and the evolution of AGN feedback in high-redshift galaxy clusters.

Outside of research, I’m passionate about science outreach and advocacy work. I’m a part of the Astrobites organization, help run Boston’s Astronomy on Tap events, co-lead the MIT Astrogazers organization, and am involved with various advocacy efforts in the MIT Physics Department, including our Grads Advising Graduate Admissions initiative (GAGA). I also love escaping into nature for hiking and camping adventures in my free time.

Want to get in touch? Email me at mmasters@mit.edu!