I grew up in Wisconsin where I went to undergrad at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. There, I worked on experimental plasma physics. Later I attended the University of Colorado Boulder where I earned a Ph.D. in physics. During this time, I started working in the field of Heavy Ions and studied under Professor Nagle and Perepelitsa.
I am an experimentalist focused on the study of the quark-gluon plasma and other phenomena in the relativistic collisions of nuclei. In these collisions, a hot dense medium is produced, where the initial incoming protons and neutrons break apart into their constituent quarks and gluons. At energies currently reached, this medium is very strongly coupled and provides an excellent setting for the study of emergent phenomena in strongly coupled systems, where the underlying theory (particle interactions) is precisely known. I am particularly interested in small collision systems, which test the behavior of the quark-gluon plasma in the most extreme conditions. One way this has been achieved is in so-called ultra-peripheral collisions. In this class of collisions, the incoming nuclei interact via their electromagnetic fields, in photon-photon and photonuclear interactions. These provide some of the smallest collision systems and their general study is an emerging field in collider-based physics. I make measurements along these lines with the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider and am participating in the first data-taking of the sPHENIX experiment at Brookhaven National Lab as well.
I love rock climbing!